Royal Navy bungalows on north slope of Mount Nicholson [1947-1960] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Royal Navy bungalows on north slope of Mount Nicholson [1947-1960]

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

Booth doesn't mention whereabouts on Mt Nicholson he stays, just that it a friend's bungalow for the few days before they moved to the Fourseas Hotel.

Photos that show this place



Hi, I can tell you where on Mount Nicholson. There are four blocks of government flats still existing at the end of Mount Nicholson Road. They were built in the 1960s I think, so after Booth - but there used to be some bungalows on the hills in front (to the north), which may have been where he lived. The site was originaly cleared for army barracks and would have been a part of the battle for Hong Kong. Mount Nicholson War The blocks are now empty and have been for a few years. They won't let you through the main entrance at the end of Mount Nicholson Road, but there are steps leading up the hillside from next to Rosary Hill School. If you climb up and work your way round to fence to the left you can enter the site and wander around. There's also an overgrown old path from the site that runs above Stubbs Road to the crest of the road by the Cricket Club

Hey David: the Royal Naval bungalows were built on the site of the former army camp, which were just canvas tents as far as I have found prior to the Japanese invasion. This account of a 1938 stay there recalls:

"The five days journey to Hong Kong was uneventful; the Royal Navy made our journey a very happy experience, and was an excellent host. We were to stay in a tented camp half way up Mount Nicholson, on a plateau looking down on a Catholic monastery, and overlooking the harbour, a beautiful location. In those days, 1938, there were no huge skyscrapers in Hong Kong, no tall buildings at all, so we used to sit up on the hillside, with a full view of the whole of the harbour, a wonderful sight, and especially at night Hong Kong harbour was rated as one of the finest in the world."


The site was heavily bombed during the subsequent fighting.  I don't know when the naval bungalows were constructed post-war but by the late 1950s the need for civil servant quarters drove the government to redevelop the area by building four blocks of flats:"mount+nicholson+bungalows"&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

There were also five bungalows built on the north side of the site, on stepped levels down the hillside. They were cleared some time ago, I have a feeling in the 90s. The foundations, railings etc are still there. As far as I recall they were similar in build to the apartments and presumably date from around the same time.

The bungalows were on a separate site but they were easy to access. I had a friend that lived in one of them.
Behind blocks 3 & 4 was a carpark and at the far end was the staircase leading down to the bungalows.
Hope this helps,

according to the guy who uploaded the video:

where the four blocks were ie.. two front and two back, used to be about 4 - 6 rows of bungalows which were torn down early 60s to build the tower blocks

Maybe these were different bungalows but there were definitely bungalows on the north side of the complex down from blocks 3 & 4.

And finally tonight:
"... a government sale of another site on the Peak on July 28, analysts including Ng said. The 2.33-hectare site (250,930 square feet) at 103 Mount Nicholson Road could be sold for HK$7 billion, Savills Plc said yesterday."

We know they were built after WW2, and were demolished to make way for the Gov't Quarters that were built here in 1962.

My family lived in the top bungalow from ca.1967 until 1976 when we left Hong Kong.  There were four bungalows.  The lowest one was divided into two, but the others were large three bedroom homes with gardens - a luxury that few in HK had.  When we moved in there had just been a typhoon and the hillside next to the bungalow (facing the harbour) had collapsed in a landslide.  So all through my childhood we had a fantastic view over Wanchai and the harbour.  When I visited in the early 1990s the vegetation had completely re-established itself and the view had gone.

Hi, I guess you might have lived at the later generation of buildings on this site. Do these photos look familiar: ?

Regards, David

When we lived in No.83, the four remaining bungalows co-existed with the four blocks that were put up in the early 1960s (in fact we had lived in flats No's. 45 and 46 prior to moving into the bungalow).  I don't remember that we could see Happy Valley from our garden; the view I remember is over Wanchai towards the Ocean Terminal in Kowloon.  The photo you've posted of the race course may be from the other side of bungalow 87 (there were paths on both sides of the bungalows) which overlooked Monte Rosa.

Hi David, Just occurred to me that your Mt.Nick photo of the knackered garages is actually ours!  Our Ford Cortina (number plate AK 8763) would have been parked in front of those white doors at the end.  Thanks for that.

Here's a pic of out bungalow (no.83 - taken in the year we moved in: 1967) 

83 Mt Nick vsmall.jpg


Hi Martin,

Thanks for the photo, great to see how they looked. Here's the 1954 photo showing what we believe are the Royal Navy Bungalows on this site.

Where is this?

They also look to be built as low terraces. Any idea if the building in your 67 photo is one of these, or if yours were a later generation built on roughly the same site?

Regards, David

Hi David,

I doubt the remaining four bungalows would have been part of the terraces of your 1954 picture.  They were each on different levels: 83 (ours), at the top, then going down the hill: 85, 87 and (presumably) 89 and 90 at the bottom.  The fact that they were numbered 83, 85 and 87 suggest that they started life as two homes each but were then knocked together to form single family dwellings.  I'm only doubtful about 89 and 90 because there were no children living there so we hardly ever went down that far.  They were bachelors' accomodation 

The bungalows were certainly older than the blocks built in the early 1960s.   I would suspect that they were likely to have been built no earlier than the late 1940s - since the bathrooms were quite salubrious. So they may have been built at the same time as the bungalows that got replaced by the four blocks.


Hi David,

I now realise that your second picture ( is not taken from Mount Nicholson, but has Mt.Nick in the far background.  If you zoom in to the centre background you'll see a block with two broad white stripes on either side.  I'm pretty sure this is Victoria Heights - which got inundated by the 1966 landslide. If you follow the flow of the landslide back to source you'll see some dots below the four Mount Nicholson blocks of flats.  These dots would be the bungalows.


Thanks for the directions on the second photo, I can see just the spot you mean.

Looking at the left edge of the 1954 photo, there are three faint white marks roughly equally spaced running down the slope. Maybe they're the top three of your bungalows? The photo isn't clear enough to be sure, but it's something to keep an eye out for if we get other old photos of this area.

Regards, David