Eucliffe [1933-1989]

Current condition: 
Demolished
Date Place completed: 
1933-12-31
Date Place demolished: 
1989-12-31

Now a string of houses with expensive sea views, this was the site of Eu Tong Sen's 'Eucliffe' house.

I'm not sure what the official name was, it is variously spelled Eucliff and Eucliffe, and sometimes described as a castle, sometimes as a mansion.

Photos that show this place

Comments

See page 4 of http://www.hkia.net/news_attach_file/journal_issue45_03.pdf:

Gabriel Van Wylick: 'It is suspected that Van Wylick also designed Eucliff 1930s, at Repulse Bay.'

There are four tall concrete gateposts below the current development, presumably the last relics of the driveway up to the house

Picture of Eucliffe from June 1968 at Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/hk60s/3774237582/

Notes from Jill:

Diana Warren, (now Taschereau), reports that her father, Leslie Warren, (1900-1943), eldest son of C.E. Warren, who took over the management of C.E. Warren & Co. after the death of her grandfather, Charles Warren, in 1923, designed the bathroom and the gates to Eucliffe Castle in Repulse Bay, home of the millionnaire, Eu Tong Sween. Looking over his shoulder, as a small child, she drew her own design for the gates at the same time.

Thanks, 80sKid. Diana will be very glad to hear that the gateposts are still there. As you say, they must be all that's left of the old gates. I don't suppose you have a photo?

See the photo at the bottom of page 48. Thanks to Nick for the link.

Regards, David

The HKIA document quoted above mentions it was designed in the 1930s.

MMIS only gives one result for Eucliff or Eucliffe in the newspapers, dated 1949, so that's no help.

Another MMIS document, "Acceptance of a Sculpture from Euston", also suggests the 1930s:

1. In mid July 1981, Mr Charles Eu of 'Euston' in Bonham Road, Hong Kong, offered to donate a piece of sculpture to the Urban Council for public viewing a piece of scupture from 'Euston' which is scheduled for redevelopment. This piece of sculpture is a group of nudes in white marble and was done by RAOUL BIGAZZI, with the following description at the bottom:-

ARTISTIC ATELIERS
RAOUL BIGAZZI
FLORENCE (ITALY)

It has a marble base and an iron fence around it. Photographs of the sculpture are at Annex I. Raoul Bigazzi was a well-known Italian stone mason and sculptor in pre-war Hong Kong and all the sculptures and stone figures at Euston and Eucliff were done by him in the early 1930s. (A note on Raoul Bigazzi is at Annex II.)

There's another mention (see point 3.3.1) that it was built on RBL 172.

Can anyone help narrow down the date?

Regards, David

Probably 1933 as mentioned in this newspaper article here In a HK Telegraph mention dated 11 May 1935 on Mr. Eu Tong Sen's generosity, the article identified him as owning two big houses both in the form of castles at Repulse Bay (Eucliffe) and at Bonham Road (Euston).

Incidentally does anyone know what happened to the statues mentioned above? I don't recall them in East Tsim Sha Tsui

Rather beautiful and unusual photo of Eucliffe here from 1979

http://billhocker.com/album.php?a=hongkong2:47
 

this phot from 1991 shows Eucliffe mostly demolished, so guess 1989-1990 for demolition?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/97395593@N08/16036530460

80's Kid's post of 20-6-2010 noted the presence of four tall concrete gateposts below the site where Eucliffe once stood and thought they may be "the last relics of the driveway up to the house". I agree. Here they are;

Gateposts below the Eucliffe site.
Gateposts below the Eucliffe site., by gw

They stand in two pairs at the start of the pedestrian promenade from Repulse Bay to Deep Water Bay. The first set, nearest to the camera in the picture above, stand across the short road down from Repulse Bay Beach Road. The second set are some 20 meters away and at an angle to the first pair, inclined towards the Eucliffe site. I wonder why two gates were necessary instead of one? 

Built as squares of plain concrete topped by simple pyramids, there's nothing remarkable about them except for their height. They must be around ten feet tall. Both today form part of the fence around a shrubbery.

Gateposts below the Eucliffe site.
Gateposts below the Eucliffe site., by gw

Obviously the gateposts are far too grand, and their angled alignment doesn't make sense, for them to have been built for the front and back gates of a humble shrubbery, but I'm not sure what this area of land was originally used for. Comparison with old photos shows it's a reclamation from the sea.

Just outside the far gates, between them and the new red-bricked promenade, a small triangle of old concrete road still exists. It's moving inland towards where Eucliffe stood, so it's probably the original driveway. 

Portion of the original driveway to Eucliffe.
Portion of the original driveway to Eucliffe., by gw

The link in David's post of 17-2-2015 takes you to redevelopment plans from the early 1980's for Repulse Bay Beach. Para.'s 4.1 and 10.2 of the "Redevelopment of Repulse Bay Beach Master Plan Development Study Report 1B" (July 1981) consider the need for "resumption of part of the Eucliffe driveway". This is clear evidence that there was a lower driveway to Eucliffe. Impressive gates on tall gateposts at the entrance to such an imposing pile would seem totally appropriate. 

Given the height of the gateposts and the probability that sizeable gates would have hung from them, I expected to be able to see them in the many old photos that took in both Eucliffe and the coast below. Surprisingly, I can't.

80's Kid - the link to the photo of Eucliffe in your post of 20-2-2015 isn't working. Most grateful if you would repost it. I'm hoping it shows the gateposts, gates and whatever the shrubbery once was.

   

A sketch of the two sets of Eucliffe gates and shrubbery by Tom Briggs was published as Plate 58 in "Hong Kong: the Vanishing City," Vol II by Tom Briggs and Colin Crisswell, SCMP, 1978 as mentioned by tonylam http://gwulo.com/comment/17561#comment-17561 and I think in another comment by moddsey. It's  obviously under copyright, but the book is still available from AbeBooks.

Jill

Thanks Jill, I haven't seen the book but will look out for it.

Hedda Morrison's photo at;

 http://via.lib.harvard.edu/via/deliver/advancedsearch?_collection=via

( In the box; )

( 1. In the top line type "hedda morrison" in the first box and select "anywhere" in the second. )

( 2. In the second line type "hong kong" in the first box and select "place" in the second. )

( 3. In the third line type "the main steps leading" in the first box and select "anywhere" in the second. )

( 4. Click the "search" button. )

 

gives a detailed, almost uninterrupted, view of the coastline below Eucliffe in 1946-7. Although only a small area of shore is obstructed from view I can't see any sign of the lower gateposts or gates, or even the road/driveway into Eucliffe from Repulse Bay Beach Road along the shore. Also, the land on which the shrubbery now stands hadn't been reclaimed from the sea. Additionally, the 1948 1:20,000 OS Map shows no road from Repulse Bay Beach Road to below Eucliffe. It seems that all these features were built much later than Eucliffe. I wonder when?

At the extreme upper right of the Eucliffe development as seen in Hedda's photo, just to the left of the Repulse Bay Hotel Garage, what seem to be a pair of tall gateposts stand out brightly in the sunshine. I think they are the gateposts at the main entrance to Eucliffe on Repulse Bay Road. They're of a generally similar appearance to the ones at todays shrubbery except, under high magnification, they appear to have some sort of dark coloured ornamentation on top. 

The undated photo at https://www.flickr.com/photos/acstudio/4170616732/ shows a picture of the land now occupied by the shrubbery with a building upon it. Since the Repulse Bay to Deep Water Bay Promenade is present it must be post early 1980's. 

Hi GW, great pics by the way. I've uploaded that photo, but doesn't help on the gate posts. Link to flickr photo here, if it doesn't all blue link, you need to copy and paste it into the address bar. You can download a largee version from flickr but I think the gates as behind some trees

http://gwulo.com/atom/20596

https://www.flickr.com/photos/97395593@N08/16036530460/

The gateposts grow more mysterious. Looking at these photos:
http://www.hkmemory.hk/collections/ho_sau/ho_sau_items/images_hs/201106/...|searchword=repulse+bay|keyword=repulse+bay

http://www.hkmemory.hk/collections/festival_of_hong_kong/all_items/image...|searchword=repulse+bay|keyword=repulse+bay

it's not really clear where such a driveway to the the castle could have led to 

I've added 1989 as a guess at the demolition date based on 80sKid's photo above.

if you look at the document previously linked (go down to page 18) to by moddsey in another thread...

then you can see that the driveway was nothing to do with Eucliffe, but instead ended at whatever structure the GLA HK 329 reference refers to.

I don't think these gate posts are anything related to the old property.

update: GLA HK refers to a Govt Land Allocation plot on the Lands dept website.

Perhaps the fenced-off area is this

Could be, though the HK govt map site does show a road terminating there. Also, strange it would be fenced off unless it wasn't owned by the govt; the fence is currently falling down and is pretty unsightly.
http://gwulo.com/atom/20665

Seems some structure was there long after the castle was pulled down: 
https://mmis.hkpl.gov.hk///c/portal/cover?c=QF757YsWv59H%2FuxqfBwEJKSUoF...

Back in 2011 Jill mentioned:

... Leslie Warren, (1900-1943), eldest son of C.E. Warren, who took over the management of C.E. Warren & Co. after the death of her grandfather, Charles Warren, in 1923, designed the bathroom and the gates to Eucliffe Castle in Repulse Bay ...

We'd been looking at gateposts down near sea-level, but a couple of recent photos Moddsey found shows these grand gates up the hill at road level. Maybe these were the gates that Leslie Warren designed:

1935 Eucliffe
1935 Eucliffe, by Eternal1966
1935 Eucliffe
1935 Eucliffe, by Eternal1966

 

The second photo is an almost identical view to the Tom Briggs sketch, except that the wrought iron gates are closed or half-closed in that. These are excellent photos - thank you for finding them, moddsey. Do we know who sculpted the lion?

Jill

More about Eu Tong Sen and Eucliffe (RBL 172) from the Singapore Press as viewed here from 1931 (1) , 1932 (2) and 1934 (3) . Reading the 1932 article, it would appear that Eucliffe was nearing completion in the same year. A famous sculptor of the period, Raoul Bigazzi did important marbling works for Eu for his residences, The decorative pieces in the driveway may have been contracted out to a company called Arts and Crafts. 

Three very interesting articles on Eu Tong Sen and Eucliffe. If the family memory is correct, it's nice to think that, when money was no object, Eu's "handsomely tiled bathroom" ... "as large as a normal bedroom" mentioned in the third article, had been commissioned from a local supplier, and that C.E. Warren & Co. Ltd. had been granted that part of the Eucliffe contract. It makes sense that a local sanitary engineering company with English credentials should have been responsible for building the drains, as with King Yin Lei. The CE Warren bathroom equipment was imported from England according to their ads. The tiles were manufactured in their local tile shop. In the 1920s, during Charles Warren's period as a race horse owner, he named his horses after the colours or patterns of his tiles: Blue Tile, Grey Tile, Mosaic Tile etc.

 Jill

On October 5,1949, there was a "Moonlight Revelry Party" held at Eucliff (spelled without the "e" in the SCMP) which was organised by the Committee of the HK Women's International Club to create funds for entertaining the troops there on Mondays and Thursdays.  I take it the troops were entertained at the club and not at Eucliff during those days cheeky

This photo is of the fashion show held that night organised by my mother as manageress of the Linen Chest (pre-Paquerette) in those days and was taken outside the main entrance.

1949 Oct 12 FS.jpg
1949 Oct 12 FS.jpg, by Nona

I have some photos of the models taken inside the castle/mansion and I must say Mr Eu had some magnificent art deco pieces in his rooms smiley