House names / numbers at The Peak | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

House names / numbers at The Peak

Addresses around the Peak have changed over the years.

First there were a small number of grand buildings, and addresses were simply "<Name of the house>, The Peak".

The number of houses increased, and at some point numbers were used. #1 was, not surprisingly, Mountain Lodge at the top of Victoria Peak. From there numbers increased in a roughly south-eastward direction, reaching #566 at the end of Middle Gap Road on Mount Cameron.

Today addresses follow the more usual <Number, Road> format. So "566, The Peak" is now "24, Middle Gap Road".

Does anyone know if the changes just happened gradually over time, or if there were formal dates when addresses changed?

Regards, David

Forum: 

Going by the annual "Directory and Chronicle for China ... etc." originally, one found a house by looking up its name in the key, finding the Rural Building Lot number and matching that to the map.  Each of these Directories had a map of the Peak (now valuable historic items)   Example below from 1889.

1889 Directory Key
The first "Peak Directory" was included in 1887.

The names of those houses quickly vanished as they were re-developed, usually into multiple units as the owners left Hong Kong.  Sound familiar?

Rockyda became Mountain View, The Sheiling became Stewart Terrace, Bushy Cottage became the duplex mansion Red Hill etc.

In 1915, RBLs were still being used.

By 1919, the first numbering scheme was introduced.  Extrapolating from the Ladies Directory from 1919 we find the following (current road names in parens.)

    1 -   16 - Peak Road (Mt. Austin Road)
  20 -   29 - Chamberlain Road (Peak Rd)
  30 -   40 - Plunkett's Road
  47 -   75 - Mt. Kellett Road
  80 -   89 - Aberdeen Road (Peel Rise)
  90 - 110 - Gough Hill and Bluff Path
110 - 139 - Plantation Road
140 - 159 - Barker Road
160 - 175 - Magazine Gap

Then the "motor-road" from Magazine Gap went in, and that was the end of the quiet, idylic Peak.  By 1924,  all the house numbers had changed.  The new road from Magazine Gap joined the existing Chamberlain Road and was renamed Stubbs Road.  Here are the designations the 1924 map (current street names in parentheses) making room to more than double the density on the Peak.

   1 -  16 Peak Road (Mt. Austin Road)
 25 -  30 Lugard Road
 50 -  56 Stubbs Road (Peak Road)
100 - 119 Plunkett's Road
151 - 195 Mt. Kellett Road
250 - 304 Gough Hill and The Bluff
350 - 378 Plantation Road and Mt. Gough
400 - 410 Severn Road
450 - 465 Barker Road
500 - 533 Magazine Gap and Wanchai Gap

The "Chronicle & Directory ..." many with maps, are available on microfilm at the Public Records Office.

Book 380.095125 DIR The Chronicle & Directory for China, Japan & the Philippines for the year 1846 - 1941 : (Microfilm)  click here

 

LegCo - 1920

Regarding the proposal to make the motor road from Magazine Gap to Chamberlain Road (now called Peak Road)

"Sir, I take the objection that this proposed road is not desirable. First, on the ground that it will destroy one of our greatest assets at the Peak, namely, the absolute quiet which we enjoy at night. ... we are faced with the
possibility of a fine procession of joy-riders at the Peak at all hours of the day and night. And, even if you call a halt at Chamberlain Road, you cannot prevent anybody who can afford the hire of a car from going up to the
Peak on a fine moonlight night, as I presume that the Government does not intend to put up a turn-pike and to issue passes to Peak residents only."

This quote helps us date Peak Postcards.  If you can see the road running past the Peak Police Station near Stewart Terrace, then it is after 1920.

Thanks Annelise. So it looks as though the 0..5xx numbers came in with the arrival of the motor cars in 1924?

I wonder when they stopped using that numbering system. I can still see them in use on a map dated 1956.

This list is copied from the "Directory" map 1915.  I've left the misspellings and added the correct spellings in parenthesis. 

If you print these out, you can then compare them to the 1912 map.

Bold are houses I found on the 1889 "Directory" or 1888 map, and the names if they were redeveloped.


RBL    1    Brockhurst
RBL    1    Bicton
RBL    1    Kirkendoa
RBL    1    Burrington
RBL    2    Fung Shui
RBL    3    Abergeldie
RBL    5    Craigieburn
RBL    6    Hill Side 1 & 2, Clavadel & Haytor
RBL    7    Cloudlands and Peak House
RBL    8    Creggan & Strawberry Hill
RBL    9    Stewart Terrace (1 to 10) (The Sheiling), Cheltondale & Slemish
RBL    10    The Mount
RBL    11    Craig Ryrie
RBL    14    Redhill 1 & 2 (Bushy Cottage)
RBL    15    Stokes Bungalows (1 & 2)
RBL    16    Sharp Memorial Hospital
RBL    19    Leigh Tor
RBL    20    Dunottar
RBL    21    La Hacienda
RBL    23    Peak Church
RBL    25    The Bluff
RBL    26    C.M.S. Sanitorium
RBL    27    The Cliff(s), Mayfield, Ardsheal and Belvedere
RBL    28    The Falls
RBL    29    Bangour
RBL    31    Dunford and The Chalet
RBL    34    Gough Hill (1 to 3) (three houses unnamed)
RBL    35    Cameron Villas (1 & 2) (1 to 6)
RBL    37    Smith's Villas, East & West
RBL    40    The Kennels and Harfort
RBL    41    Magdelen Terrace (1 to 3)
RBL    43    The Neuk
RBL    45    Tor Crest
RBL    46    Kellett Crest
RBL    47    Stolzenfels, Modreenagh
RBL    48    Fernside
RBL    49    Durisdeer
RBL    52    Bishop's Lodge (formerly called Peak Side)
RBL    53    Des Voeux Villas (1 to 7), Eilandonan
RBL    54    Yalta
RBL    56    Eredine
RBL    57    Wellburn
RBL    58    Merion (1 and 2)
RBL    59    Bahar Lodge
RBL    60    Mountain View (1 to 11) (Rockyda FL 64)
RBL    62    Peak Club
RBL    68    Cadzow, Forebank West East
RBL    70    Tusculum
RBL    71    Craigmin, East West
RBL    74    Coombe
RBL    76    The Homestead (FL 59)
RBL    77    Peak Hotel (FL 53)
RBL    78    Treverbyn (FL 62)
RBL    79    Formosa & Peak Hospital
RBL    80    Tramway Manager's House
RBL    81    Myrtle Bank (FL 65)
RBL    82    The Retreat and Lustleigh
RBL    83    Chair Coolie House
RBL    84    Stonyhurst
RBL    90    St. Andrew's
RBL    91    Richmond House
RBL    93    Cragside
RBL    94 & 98    Glenshiel
RBL    96    Summer House
RBL    97    The Cottage
RBL    98    Eggesford
RBL    99    Leuknor and Taiping
RBL    100    Crow's Nest
RBL    101    Ligonil (Ligoneil )
RBL    106    Dunedin
RBL    107    Martinho
RBL    111    Lyeemun
RBL    111    Ebordale
RBL    111    Lyeemun
RBL    112    Quarndon
FL          0    Mountain Lodge
FL        61    The Haystack
FL        63    Admiralty Bungalow

Hi there,

I came across this sign No. 457 Mrs J.F. Macgregor Private Path, with another line in Chinese from right to left 私家重地﹐閑人莫進﹐  which means, private & no trasspassing.

If you get down from Chatham Path, you should be able to see this sign very soon.  I checked a street map and found it is located appproximately at the 300 metre contour line.

Looking beyond the sign, the path appeared to be blocked by some construction or maintenance work.  The other side might be the site of the Knight's Bridge Court.

 

Best Regards,

T

On the 1924 "directory" map it shows the house name as Inverdruie, and also a path that goes all the way to the Peak Tram tracks along apparently unbuilt RBL 225-229 (on both sides of the path).

[ Look carefully on the Centamap for Chatham Path, and you will see a path going along the 240/260 contours to the Peak Tram line marked "Chatham Path".  There is a little shrine along this path .

Mrs. J. F. MacGregor was listed in

"The China hong list 1941: a business and residential directory of all foreigners and the leading Chinese in the principal ports and cities of China"
Publisher    Offices of the North-China Daily News & Herald, 1941
Original from    the University of Michigan

(Google Books, no preview available)

Hi there,

That shrine I am aware of.  I did not walk towards despite it looked deserted.  I did talk a photo from afar:

When I took this photo my back was facing 1 Chatham Road.  It is just two or three more turns down the path from here. BTW, there is a petrol powered golf cart with a VV license plate parked in the roadside right opposite the house, probably owned by the landlord. 

Best Regards,

T

How did you add these photos without uploading them?

Hi there,

Those photos are already in my own low resolution photo album so I simply disable Rick-text, and use copy & paste to paste a http link of the respective photos pointing back to the service hosting my albumn.  The photos would be embedded into the message after switching Rich-text back on.

Best Regards,

T

I mentioned this to Keith Macgregor, the Hong Kong photographer, and he confirmed that Mrs J Macgregor was his grandmother, Dorothy Macgregor, wife of Jack, who ran Caldbeck Macgregor. Dorothy was the daughter of Mr Shelton-Hooper, the first MD of Hong Kong Land, who had worked under Sir Paul Chater. 

The house was completely stripped by the Japanese in WWII, and after the war 457 was sold to Wheelock Marden. It eventually became Knightsbridge Court. 

Regards, 

Andrew

According to the Events page of the web site of the Rating and Valuation Department, the "scheme for renumbering properties on the Peak was brought into operation" on 1st Sep. 1960.

It is being leased out right now:

http://www.sino-leasing.com/v4/residential_sect_en.asp?id=124

I made an appointment and had a look around. quite disappointing to see that outbuildings were converted to a gym and a bar.

The main stair case is still lovely with it's polished banister. A small but grand oval welcomes any visitor who walks through the front door. Immediately in front of u would be the formal drawing rooms with veranda that looks out to victoria harbor. Next to the drawing room is the formal dinning room and behind that is a very narrow/small kitchen - right at the end of the house beyond the kitchen is a really sunny breakfast room - I think the tiles of the floor are it's original.

Anyone interested in this house should go make an appointment and have a look. 

U can reach this house from - walking up a small path behind Gladdon on May Road, there are meter parking across the street from Gladdon. 

Walking down from Barker Road is ok for hikers....

 

Dear All:

Wow! Small world. My Dad use to work for Mr. Strickland many years ago. Was looking up history of Calbeck McGregor and came across this site.

My sister and our family use to explore these old paths. She use to take the Tram to school.

Immigrated to Canada 40 years ago. Time goes quickly.

Sincerely

Paul

Hello Paul, and welcome to the site.

I didn't find any mention of Mr Strickland above - please could you let us know how he fits in to the story?

Please feel free to share any other memories that come to mind, they all add to the patchwork.

Regards, David

New to this website (great stuff!) but not to HK.  Walked down Chatham Path today, saw the "457 Mrs. J.F. MacGregor" sign on the way down, on a small parth connecting Knightsbridge Court (now a construction site) to Chatham Path. 

1 Chatham Path is definitely occupied.  Saw a gweilo with three young kids drive up in the golf cart.  Nice digs, if you can afford them!

@David,  if you still have the 1956 map, where would 565 be located? I note Middle Gap Road goes up to 28, however logically 565 has to be 23 MGRd?

tks - Michael

ps: live and learn, I have always assumed The peak meant Mt. Victoria area.

On today's map it is 19, Middle Gap Road.

Regards, David

Thanks David, the article on Kennedy Skipton losing his briefcase states he lived at 565 The Peak, whereas all other references has him living in Mt. Cameron Road. I know they are close but is nothing easy?

The residence certainly looks large enough for the number of "refugees" living there when the Japanese invaded. Not sure if this is the original house but is this what a Cadet Class 1 would occupy?

I note there is already a thread here for 19, Middle Gap Road. It is the residence of the current HSBC Chairman.  KS must have been a lucky man.

rgds - Michael

Hi David and Everyone

Given the above topic, is anyone able to tell me where 364 The Peak is on the current map or the name of the house etc. My husband's family lived there just prior to WWII. I am guessing around Plantation Road.

Thanks

Kelly

Hi Kelly:

What was the family name ? were they interned at Stanley during the war or had they left by the time war started in Asia ?  Best rgds,  Phil Cracknell

 

Hi Phil

His name is Francis Leslie Ball. The family immigrated to Australia in May/June 1940 and he returned to finalise business in Hong Kong. We believe he may have worked for Gibbs, Livingston & Co or the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. We know that Burns Philp paid for the trip for the family to come to Australia. We know he started as a Silk Inspector and eventually a Merchant. He travelled between London and Hong Kong/Shanghai listing the bank as his address.

The Hong Kong War Diary website said that he was first taken to the Tai Koon Hotel when he "surrendered" and then went onto Stanley Camp.

Thanks

Kelly

Hi Kelly, I've made a page for Mr Ball at http://gwulo.com/node/14717, and added links to further information.

Regards, David

Thanks so much, I am hoping to get my hands on the family photos (dated 1936-1940 I think) of the house soonish!! Not sure of the quality of them yet.

Kelly

According to the 1924 Map, it would appear to be on Severn Road overlooking Aberdeen and named Lewknor.

The 1941 Jurors list has a Leslie Francis Ball residing at the address above, working for Gibb Livingston.

Thanks so much for confirming that!!!

Kelly

In case it is of interest  L.F.Ball first appeared on the Jurors list in 1938, residing at 364 The Peak..

Hello - I wonder if anyone here would be able to tell me which house The Chief Justice lived in before WWII.  He was my great-Uncle and I would love to find a photo of their house.  He and his wife, my Auntie Gertrude, were both interned in the Stanley Internment Camp.  Thank you.

There's a comment at http://gwulo.com/comment/21151#comment-21151 that says it was uphill from 26-28 Severn Road:

Sometime I would climb up through the undergrowth to the ruins of the old chief justice's house, immediately above 26-28, which had been bombed in the war and afforded magnificent 360 degree views of Hong Kong.

Regards, David

Thank you for your reply.  I will have a look at your link.  Best wishes, Lydia

the granite obelisk marking RBL 68, which seems from the list to be Cadzow on Magazine Gap Road, lies among debris and jungle in the slope running up between Coombe Road childrens playground and the end of Magazine Gap Road. 

Hi Kelly

My Grandfather was also in Stanley Camp his name was Reginald Andrew Wickerson

He worked for Cnina Provident after the war and lived at 545a The Peak which I now beleive is Middle Gap Road

Regards

Mark

 

R.B.L. 42 was originally the lot number given to lot on which Stonyhurst was built back in 1887 (see entry for 23 Coombe Road).  But sometime after the property was purchase by the China Fire Insurance company (1901), R.B.L. 42 was divided into two with the western portion of the site retaining its designation as R.B.L. 42 while the lot on which Stonyhurst is situated became R.B.L 84.  The subdivision of lot R.B.L. 42 happened sometime between 1902-1903 based on an entry available at the Public Records Office.  This explains why accounts earlier that 1902 lists Stonyhurst as R.B.L. 42 while later accounts list it as R.B.L. 84.

Thanks faco815. There's also more information about this building at: http://gwulo.com/node/7736

Regards, David

I'd like to add the above house to this list of the house names and numbers at The Peak. Erncraig was acquired by John Fleming, the chief accountant of Lowe, Bingham & Matthews in 1928, about whom there has been previous correspondence. I had previously been told that Fleming lived for a while at 21 Broadwood Road near the Warren family's house at no. 19, as he oversaw the financial side of the CE Warren & Co. Ltd. business when my 23 year old uncle took it over on my grandfather's death. The Broadwood Road address was probably a mistake.

John Fleming lived at Erncraig with his wife Kitty and their children until he retired after the war. Fleming was interned in Stanley, but doesn't seem to have been mentioned in Barbara Anslow's or R.E. Jones's diaries, despite having been a high profile member of the Hong Kong community, renowned for his hard work and long hours. Perhaps Philip Cracknell has a Stanley record of him. I don't know what happened to Fleming's wife and children during the war. It's possible that they were evacuated.  It would be good to add these details.

Jill

From Hong Kong Government Reports Online: Land sale auctions on Barker Road

Date RBL Name Peak Number
1900-02-19 103 ? ?
1901-04-01 106 Dunedin 465
1901-07-03 107 Martinhoe 458
1902-03-10 111 Lyemum 463
1905-03-20 121 Tantallon 454

 

I have added a summary of the Peak district renumbering until 1960 with the house & street names here