Morrison Hill Quarry

York Lo’s posted article, Tracing Roots: Joseph Yen (嚴錫榮), post-war chairman of Marsman HK China and the father in the book Falling Leaves, contains the following:

Earlier on the Group’s website there were several articles about the Dutch American mining magnate from the Philippines – J.H. Marsman and his firm Marsman HK China Ltd (馬士文公司) which operated the Needle Hill mine between 1936 and 1951, the Castle Peak mine from 1936 to 1958 and the Morrison Hill quarry (except during the Japanese occupation from 1941-45).

York also included this photo of Morrison Hill Quarry, the only image I have seen of the quarry itself.

Morrison Hill Quarry From Joseph Yen Article York Lo

View of the Morrison Hill Quarry operated by Marsman (工商晚報, 1958-08-07)

Until I stumbled across this one on Wikipedia Commons where it’s dated c1922 but with no other supplementary information. Not sure what is happening here though it looks like the shot was taken during the removal of the hill. Are those railway tipping trucks at the bottom?

Morrison Hill Quarry Image C1922 From Wikimedia Commons No Further Informatio

Morrison Hill (摩理臣山 or 摩利臣山) is an area and was a hill in Wan Chai near Happy Valley, on Hong Kong Island. 

The hill was at the seashore until the Praya East Reclamation Scheme in the 1920s, which used its constituent rock/earth to reclaim land from the harbour, extending the shoreline away from the area. This major operation took most of the decade and to carry away the rock and soil, temporary railway tracks were laid, running along Bowrington Canal (present day Canal Road), which was covered over for the purpose.

The hill was named for Protestant missionary and linguist Dr Robert Morrison who travelled through the region as part of the Morrison Education Society.(1)

Morrison Hill is located at Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island, The quarry in Morrison Hill supplied the aggregate for the “Bonham Reclamation Plan”, including the current Morrison Street, Jervois Street and Bonham Strand in Sheung Wan. The quarry operated from 1852 to 1869. Before its operation Morrison School, the English Christian School, was located at the top of the hill. The school was built in 1842 and closed in 1849. Morrison has now been flattened and become part of the Wan Chai urban area.(2)

Wanchai Reclamations Wanchai District Board March 1992

Wanchai District Board, March 1992


  1. Morrison Hill – wikipedia
  2. Hong Kong Mining History, Jackie CT Chu and Jacky SL Chan, Hong Kong Mining History, ProjecTerrae, 2015

This article was first posted on 8th August 2018.


  1. 1920s Excavation of Morrison Hill

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Tracing Roots: Joseph Yen (嚴錫榮), post-war chairman of Marsman HK China and the father in the book Falling Leaves

Our Index contains many articles about Hong Kong quaries

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