The Kennedy Town Slaughterhouses – initial notes
HF: There were at least two slaughterhouses/abattoirs in Kennedy Town.
As always additional information, photos, maps, clarification and corrections would be appreciated.
I have highlighted specific questions in red.
This 1889 map of Kennedy Town shows a slaughter house, adjacent incinerator and a sheep and pig depot south of Forbes Street. Their total length was about 200 metres. For the purposes of this article I will refer to this as the Smithfield slaughterhouse.
When did this slaughterhouse open?
There is also a cattle market east of Forbes Street and Smithfield (indicated by …field on the map) with Rock Hill Street to the north and Pokfield Path to the south.
Does this cattle market include the two large, shaded buildings immediately to the north?
Smithfield – presumably named after its London namesake?
On the 11th March 1901 the HK Legislative Council discussed and agreed to a payment of HKD2,020 for the construction of a “cattle crematorium as close to the Government cattle depots as possible” in Kennedy Town.
This detail of an image, thought to be from 1924, shows the Smithfield Slaughterhouses and Sheep & Pig Depot:
On 16th March 1949 Legco discussed replacing the Smithfield slaughterhouse with a new abattoir in Kennedy Town, which “which would make a start on construction possible during the year 1950-51.” Discussions about the proposed move and construction continued throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s. (see source 5 for details about these proposals)
Construction of the new Kennedy Town Abattoir began on 10th March 1966.
The relocation to the Kennedy Town Abattoir at Cadogan Street happened in 1968.(1)
But when did the Smithfield slaughterhouse actually stop functioning as an abattoir?
Despite calls to convert the original slaughterhouse site into a swimming pool, the government said in 1969 that the plan was not feasible until both the cattle depot and the former slaughterhouse complex (then occupied by the cattle depot as well) were released for redevelopment.
Legco Official Report of Proceedings 4th June 1969:
The cattle depot was “closed” in 1986, when the government finally decided that it was to be removed. The land was subsequently developed into the Kennedy Town Swimming Pool (now itself demolished), Smithfield Market and the Smithfield Municipal Services Building. (1)
Did the depot actually stop functioning as a site to keep cattle in 1986?
Legco Official Report of Proceedings 23rd April 1986:
Incidently, a more extended version of the 1889 map shown above was used to show the location of the 23rd July 1994 landslide and shows the northern end of Smithfield and the location of Cadogan Street.
The demolition of the Kennedy Town Incinerator and Abattoir commenced on 28th September 2007 and was completed on 23rd April 2009. (3)
- http://gwulo.com/atom/19482 information, photos and maps about Kennedy Town including its slaughterhouses and animal depots
- http://gwulo.com/node/2344 information about “Smithfield Cattle Depot (abattoir until 1961)
This article was first posted on 2nd February 2015.
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Great article. Thank you.
However, the two photos at the bottom and the comment about demolition over 2007-2009 are misplaced. Those photos and comment are regarding the “new” abattoir and incinerator which was located on the waterfront at the junction of Cadogan and New Praya Road, and is still undergoing demolition and decontamination as per https://industrialhistoryhk.org/kennedy-town-demolition-incineration-plant-abattoir-2009/
Hope this helps.