Mystery structures near Stanley – industrial site, mine?
HF: Craig Mitchell has been in touch with a few more notes and thoughts about the site above Stanley which appears to be industrial in origin. I have added these to his original comments.
Craig Mitchell writes: Last weekend [early Jan 2014] a few of us were out in the hills behind Stanley. We went up the The Twins (Stanley Mound), to the first summit Stanley side and then turned to the East, off track down a steep valley towards Stone Hill. We were in the Valley between the two hills that then becomes a stream (which eventually ends up behind the Manhattan in Tai Tam). If you can imagine a Y shape of the two valleys between Stone Hill and Lo Fu Shan (more towards Cheung Lin Shan aka Sugar Loaf), then it’s near the junction on the Stone hill side.
This shows the exact location of the mystery structures.
A couple of hundred metres from the saddle between the two hills we came across the remains of three buildings with only the foundations remaining. Most of the construction isn’t there anymore, but you can clearly see where they have cut away the side of the hill away leaving rectangles shapes where the buildings once were and a couple of old overgrown paths.
We found a big pulley about 30cm across. Plus a short section of rail track (similar to what you would find in mine) a couple of feet long and evidence of where the rail track ran along, but I’m sure the rest of it has been removed. Also a few bags of dry cement and a number of rusty tools.
We had a look around but found no real evidence of mining or earthworks etc. I’m pretty sure it’s not military. It appears to be pre-WW2 judging from the 1945 aerial photo, assuming the Japanese weren’t responsible…And I can’t think why they would be.
The structures are in such an odd place and I can’t think of any reason why they are there. I have also looked through one of my HK geology books to see if there is anything unusual about this area but found nothing.
I can’t understand why there don’t seem to be any records, it clearly was a fairly big operation.
I have also noticed another area close by, which must be related, from the 1945 aerials which I will search after the summer.
HF adds: Craig was literally off the beaten track in the hills north of Stanley so it is very difficult to describe precisely where these structures/buildings were. However, he has now inserted the coordinates into the Google Map at the top.
As Craig says all the evidence appears to point to there being a mine or quarry at this location.
Here is a map showing the Location of economic mineral occurrences in Hong Kong. I have marked the approximate postions of the structures north of Stanley with a red spot. As you can see no mines or quarries are shown in the vicinity.
Courtesy of Sewell RJ, Tang DLK, and Shaw R, Hong Kong Geology: A 400-million year journey, CEDD, Gov of HKSAR, 2009
In the meantime if anyone knows or can guess, the function of the structures, the pulley and the rail track do let us know.
This article was first posted on 18th June 2014.
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