F.L. 64, "Rockyda" [1885-1888] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

F.L. 64, "Rockyda" [1885-1888]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
Date Place demolished: 

I noticed this marker stone, inscribed "F.L. 64", whilst walking along Mount Kellett Road.

F.L. 64

It stands just above the road between No.'s 62 and 71 Mount Kellett Road. Behind it stands a low wall, the remains of a path that presumably led to the property that once stood on FL 64. The view back down the path to the road looks like this.

F.L. 64

It's fascinating to think that people once entertained the idea of farming on The Peak. I hadn't come across a "Farm Lot" marker before, so was interested to learn more.

A Gwulo search of FL 64 brings up Annelisec's post of an extract from the 1889 "Directory & Chronicle for China" which names the property that once stood on FL 64 as "Rockyda" ( http://gwulo.com/node/5601 ).

Searching Gwulo for "Rockyda" gives three hits;

a. The earliest is the 1885 "Ladies Directory" ( http://gwulo.com/ladies-directory-1885 ) which lists a "Mrs. Ackroyd" as living at "Rockyda, The Peak" and at 3 Seymour Road. In those days having a summer house on the remote Peak to escape the heat of down-town was quite the thing, so "Rockyda" may have been more of a chalet than a mansion.

b. Another hit is for the 1887 "Ladies Directory" ( http://gwulo.com/ladies-directory-1887 ) and contains the same information as in (a).

c. The third hit is the 1887 "Peak Directory" ( http://gwulo.com/node/7317 ) and says that the "Hon. E.J. Ackroyd" called "Rockyda" home.

Another Gwulo page ( http://gwulo.com/node/7061 ) contains the 1888 "Peak Directory" which lists Mr. Ackroyd as still residing at "Rockyda", but that's the last mention of the name that I've found. 

It seems that the Ackroyd's only used "Rockyda" between 1885 and 1888. Earlier, the 1884 list of "Principle Residents" has E.J. Ackroyd living at a Castle Road address ( http://gwulo.com/node/7062 ), whereas later the 1890 "Ladies Directory (http://gwulo.com/ladies-directory-1890 ) has Mrs. Ackroyd at the Seymour Road address mentioned earlier, but no mention of "Rockyda".

Wiki has an entry entitled "First Houses on the Peak" ( http://en.wikpedia.ord/wiki/First-houses-on-the-Peak ) which simply states;

"FL64 Rockyda on Mt Kellett 1884 Mr Ackroyd (became RBL 53, Des Voeux Villas - 1888 James Orange)." 

None of the sources supplied with the article expand on the statement, but I take it to mean "Rockyda" was built on FL64 in 1884 by Ackroyd and demolished or redeveloped into Des Voeux Villas in 1888. The dates fit in nicely with the research from Gwulo sources.

There's no way of knowing when the FL 64 marker stone was erected, but it's possibly been there since 1884 or 5.  


Who were the Ackroyd's who lived in "Rockyda"?

A google search of "E J Ackroyd Hong Kong 1880's" brings up a website ( http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk ) detailing Jardine Matheson related correspondence from the 1880's and listing recipients, one of whom is named Edward James Ackroyd. There can't have been many E.J. Ackroyd's in Hong Kong at the time, so perhaps Edward James was the "E J" at "Rockyda".

A google search of "Edward James Ackroyd" hits on www.cr.gov.hk/en/publications/docs/studyreport-part3-e.pdf which tells us he was the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong from 27-2-1882 to 24-3-1893.

Further information available online states Sir Edward James Ackroyd was born in 1838 and married Mary in 1880. He worked in the Registry of the Supreme Court in Mauritius from 1853 to 1873. Positions held in Hong Kong included Registrar of Supreme Court in 1881, Acting Attorney General from 1886-88 and 1890, Acting Chief Justice in 1891 and 1894, and Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong from 1892-95. He died on 5-2-1904 with an address in Sussex, UK ( http://archive.org/stream/whowaswhocompani01londuoft/whowaswhocompani01londuoft-djvu.txt ).  

Given the number of high official positions occupied by Edward James Ackroyd from 1881 to 1895, I presume he was one and the same as the Hon. E.J. Ackroyd at "Rockyda" in 1884 or 5 to 1888.

Photos that show this place


Farm lot meant that you weren't really supposed to build on it. It is equivalent to today's garden lot but clearly with fewer restrictions. Lease conditions for building lots always required that you actually build something for the lease to take effect, so Farm lot perhaps meant that you didn't have to build something in order to get the lease.

To keep all the related information together, I've moved the content from the related Forum Post over here and deleted the Forum Post.

Regards, David