Quarrying in Hong Kong – how the City of Victoria was built
Hugh Farmer: Stone is the only commodity in which Hong Kong is still self-sufficient, and quarrying was a major early industry. The granite extracted from the quarries in East Kowloon, Stonecutter’s Island, Quarry Bay and from the Kowloon hills were used throughout the territory and shipped to Canton for building purposes. The Roman Catholic Cathedral in Guangzhou was constructed in the 1860s using Hong Kong granite.
And a great deal of the City of Victoria, here in Hong Kong used local stone. Ramps were used to load the stone blocks onto barges which were then taken along Hong Kong island or across from Kowloon to the new colonial town. Many of these quarries can still be seen scattered around the coast (or as a result of reclamation what was the original shoreline). They remain among the few reminders of what was once an important local industry. Difficult to knock down or replace even here!
Modern quarries can also be seen. Anderson Road highly visible above Kwun Tong, Lamma opposite So Kwu Wan, Shek O just before you start to descend into that place. Less high profile is Lam Tei Quarry NE of Tuen Mun. However, under a plan formulated in 1989 this major quarry will be the last one in Hong Kong to close in 2015. It has already been mentioned in articles connecting it to Ping Shan airport, a post WW2 project.
I thought we could have a look at all the HK quarries I have found reference to. And then slowly, slowly we can add information about each one. If you can contribute contact me. And similar if you hear of any more, I am sure my list is not complete.
The Quarries both marked as active and inactive on this 1991 map are:
- Cha Kwo Ling
- Devils Peak (Pau Toi Shan, close to Lei Yue Mun. There is also a small quarry just east of LYM, next to the sea. Same quarry?)
- Diamond Hill
- Hung Hom (unnamed location but in this area)
- Kwun Tong (two)
- Lam Tei
- Mount Butler
- North Point
- Shek Lei (Shatin?)
- Shek O (two)
- Tseng Lan Shue (Anderson Road Quarry is at Tsiu Lan Shue. Mistake/same place? My HK Directory indicates 2 quarries here)
- Turret Hill (Nui Po Shan, just NE of Shatin)
I have also heard of quarries at these locations:
- A Kung Ngam (Shau Kei Wan)
- Chek Lap Kok
- Lamma Quarry
- Mong Tung Hang ( near Penny’s Bay, Lantau)
- Quarry Hill ( east of Ho Man Tin)
- Shek Tung Tsui (Sai Wan)
- Stonecutter’s Island
- To Kwa Wan
These locations need to be put on a map. Any volunteers?
This article was first posted on 20th February 2014.
Lim P, Discovering Hong Kong’s Cultural Heritage OUP 1997
Peng CJ, Hong Kong Minerals, Urban Council, HK, 1991
Sewell RJ et al, Hong Kong Geology: A 400-million year journey, CEDD, HKSAR Government, 2009
For further information:
- http://www.devb.gov.hk/en/publications_and_press_releases/publications/works_digest/issue_41_july_2000/index/quarries/index.html Development Bureau brief notes 4 quarries:- Anderson Road, Shek O, Lamma and Lam Tei, July 2000
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Underwaterbuffalo/Other/Mining_in_Hong_Kong A brief mention of three quarries, North Lantau, Chek Lap Kok and Diamond Hill
- Chek Lap Kok Quarry
- Lam Tei Quarry connections with post WW2 proposed Ping Shan Airport
- Lam Tei Quarry – Ping Shan Airport , RAF Technical Magazine Report, May 1946
- Ling Hang Quarry (China) – supplier to Green Island Cement Company
- Of gods, diamonds and brothels – quarrying questions