Peak Depot - Water Supplies Department [1910- ]

Submitted by annelisec on Tue, 01/12/2010 - 19:01
Current condition
Date completed

Photos that show this Place


This was the first of two adjacent buildings situated on Peak Road (now Old Peak Road) just below Victoria Gap used as accommodation for Chair Coolies - carriers of sedan chairs. Initially known as Victoria Gap or The Peak "Chair Coolie Quarters", later changes to its use saw it become known as the "Forestry and Water Works Depot", "Forestry and Waterworks Coolies House", and finally "Peak Waterworks Depot" or just "Peak Depot".

The land, RBL 83, was put up for public auction by the Government on 22nd Aug 1892, with a requirement for the successful bidder to construct a European-style building within one year (1). I don't know the result of the auction. The 1899 map (2) appears to show an unidentified building on RBL 83, but the Historic Building Appraisal (3) says, "Peak Depot was built around 1903", and doesn't mention any earlier building on the site.

In 1904 the Government resumed the property at a cost of $3,000, describing it as the "coolies old house" - a strange choice of words if it had been recently constructed. After renovation it became an extension to the second Chair Coolie Quarters that had been completed on adjacent land in 1903 (4).

Around 1910, it became a "Forestry and Water Works Coolies House", serving as offices, workshop and storage-house for emergency equipment and accommodation for waterworks office personnel serving the Peak area. After the Second World War it was used as the "Peak Waterworks Depot". Initially constructed with a pitched roof, at some time this was replaced by a flat roof (5).

I'd pick 1899 as the approximate construction date as that is the earliest year I've found evidence of a building on the site.

1. Government Notification 190/1892.

2. 1899 Peak Map at

3. Historic Building Appraisal No. 1087 at Appraisal En.pdf .

4. 1904 Public Works Report, Para.'s 2 & 74, at GG 254, dated 28 Apr 1905.

5. See 3 above.