Wong Nai Chung Village [????-1923]

Submitted by Admin on Thu, 05/13/2010 - 11:10
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date closed / demolished

Notes from 80skid:

I think they flattened the hills behind the village out in the 1920s, allowing for better development. The same photo is in the public library records and has the following description:

Wong Nai Chung Village, Happy Valley, Hong Kong Island, c.1870-75.
The charming neat village at the head of Happy Valley had been inhabited long before the British occupation of Hong Kong. This fine photograph shows well the symmetrical layout and the authentic traditional Chinese style of the buildings. The early beginning of racing, in 1846, and the establishment of the Race Course in front of the village, the subsequent building development of the Happy Valley, must have created problems for the little peaceful village. The final straw was the severe typhoon, in August 1923, which caused flooding and severe damage to the village. It was abandoned after that.

Here's a photo taken 1865 from presumably Morrison Hill showing the village ansd the race-course. Looks like the yellow muddy creek (Wong Nai Chung) is still there. I think the other photo of the village is probably earlier though than the date given.

Photos that show this Place


Good point. I wonder if the old village was demolished earlier than the government notes above suggest? Or maybe the old village was still there, but hidden behind the newer buildings in the 1923 photo?

Moddsey writes:

HK Telegraph 29 August 1923

The most serious effects of the rainfall was felt in Wong Nei Chong Village with some parts of the village under five feet of water. Owing to some reclamation works that is in progress, a bank has been thrown up in front of the village, which now lies in a hollow.

Newspaper photos of the damage caused to Wong Nei Chong Village can be viewed in the China Mail and Hong Kong Telgraph dated 1 and 8 September 1923 respectively.

In response to Liz's photo:

Heavy Rainfall 28 August 1923

That answer's my previous question about whether the village was still there in 1923 - it was, but wouldn't be for much longer.

It also gives a possible explanation to another question that's been niggling me, why did the villagers abandon their houses?

The final straw was the severe typhoon, in August 1923, which caused flooding and severe damage to the village. It was abandoned after that.

It didn't seem likely that typhoon damage would force the residents to abandon their village. The village had been there a long time - it pre-dated the arrival of the British, and shows as a sizeable village on the 1845 map (http://gwulo.com/1845_map_hong_kong). And typhoon damage would have been a regular occurrence, something you fixed up and moved on from.

But, if the land to the north of the village in Happy Valley had been reclaimed and raised, leaving the village in a hollow, any heavy rainfall would mean the village would flood.

A damaging typhoon happening a few times in your lifetime you'd put up with. But if your house was going to be flooded several times a year, you'd probably get up and move.

Regards, David