Central Market, second generation, 1895 photographs

Paul Onslow has kindly sent these images of the Central Market taken by an unknown photographer in 1895. The market opened in that year so presumably they were taken immediately after its completion.

The Market was demolished in 1937. Construction of the current market began in 1938 and was completed in 1939 opening on 1st May. This closed in 2003 and remains empty and unchanged today…

First a brief history of the market prior to this second generation version: “The historical significance of [the present 2015] Central Market may better be understood by first examining the early history of its predecessors, the Canton Bazaar and the former Central Market. As early as in 1842, a market, named Canton Bazaar (廣州市場), was already opened by the Chinese living in the neighbourhood. It was first established at the section of Cochrane and Graham at the foot of the hill near Queen’s Road Central, then moved to Queen’s Road East, where the Supreme Court is now located in Admiralty. At around 1850, the Canton Bazaar was renamed to Central Market (中環街市) and moved to the current site: Between the Praya (now Des Voeux Road Central), Queen’s Road Central, Queen Victoria and Jubilee Streets. It was rebuilt again in 1895…”(1)

The images come from the Colonial Office Collection, Hong Kong 1869-1900, UK National Archives and and are not subject to copyright.

Central Market d 1895 View fom Praya

Title: View from Praya [now Des Voeux Road, Central]

Central Market b 1895 Retail Stalls, Ground Floor

Title: Retail Stalls, Ground Floor

Central Market a 1895 Upper Floor

Title: Shops, Upper Floor

Central Market c 1895 View from Queen's Road

Title: View from Queen’s Road


  1. A Study of [the] Historical and Architectural Context of Central Market, The HK Institute of Architects, 2005

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  1. The Decline of Hawkers Markets in Hong Kong – but where were they?

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