Torpedo Depot / Kowloon Naval Yard / Government Dockyard [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong
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Torpedo Depot / Kowloon Naval Yard / Government Dockyard [????-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists


  • 1887 map shows it as "Naval Yard", without any breakwater. (Mapping Hong Kong, plate 4-2)
  • 1902-3 map shows it as "Torpedo Depot". The breakwater has been built, and is shown on this and following maps. (Mapping Hong Kong, plate 4-3)
  • 1924 map shows it as "Torpedo Depot" (Mapping Hong Kong, plate 4-4)
  • 1950s The Royal Naval Dockyard in Kowloon was known as the Royal Navy Small Ships Maintenance Base. (SSMB) This is where all the maintenance and repairs of the Armed Motor Launches of the famous Hong Kong Flotilla were maintained together with small ancillary craft. A Large Landing Craft 1110 housed a workshop with precision machine tools. (Comment from PETERBN)
  • 1956 map shows it as "H.M. Dockyard, Kowloon Yard" (1956 Kowloon overlay)
  • c.1959 Taken over by the HK Government around 1959, to become the Government Dockyard. It was responsible for the maintenance of all HK goverment departments' vessels. (Comment from Ho Lim-peng)
  • 1997 The Government Dockyard moved to Stonecutters' Island. (Comment from Ho Lim-peng)

Today there is still a breakwater there, and it is marked "Typhoon Shelter" on modern maps.


Photos that show this place


I wonder if anyone has any closer pictures of some of the older buildings that used to sit near to the Govt pier that sits behind the Canton Road fire station. I was looking at some behind the scenes stills from The Sand Pebbles and know that the Hankow set was created here. (see images here and here). There looked to be some nicer colonnaded buildings here that obviously have become victims of redevelopment over time and was hoping somebody may have some better/closer images. From the film, it looks as though there was also one with red brick/granite columns further to the right as well.

I should say the same buildings were also featured in Lord Jim filmed in 1963 (released in '65).

They're interesting - I hadn't noticed them before. Zooming in on these two photos gives other views of the buildings' layout, but not much detail:

Sea Terminal-aerial image location
Sea Terminal-aerial image location, by IDJ


Tsim Sha Tsui-May 1979
Tsim Sha Tsui-May 1979, by IDJ

The 1979 image shows that they have gone already. I think the Fire station building must have replaced the northern most one. It looks like the area to the south of that was just cleared out completely.

Interesting that there is so little online about the Kowloon dockyard. Here are a couple of picture of the area c1939 including one with detailed view of  a couple of the buildings.

 Kowloon Naval Depot Aerial View
Kowloon Naval Depot Aerial View, by Herostratus
Kowloon Naval Depot 1939
Kowloon Naval Depot 1939, by Herostratus

The area became a container terminal in the 1970s for a bit, although it didn't last long. 

A view of the area after it had been converted to a container yard:

TST Aerial View
TST Aerial View , by Herostratus

A nice view of the buildings from 1955:

Kowloon Naval Dockyard
Kowloon Naval Dockyard , by Herostratus

Another great picture. The colonnaded buildings seen on the two films I mentioned are to the left of the picture. Cheers Phil

Another view of the area from the sea:

Royal Mail Launch with Kowloon dockyard in background
Royal Mail Launch with Kowloon dockyard in background, by Herostratus

Torpedo practice firing from the Kowloon Torpedo Depot is first mentioned in HKGRO in October 1898.

GN No. 479: From the north end of Camber at Kowloon Torpedo Depot for a distance of 800 yards in a northwesterly direction.

Again from HKGRO, it would appear that the range ceased to be in use from mid-1902.