Pokfulam Reservoir – structures and declared monuments
HF: I have slightly adapted the script below from the original booklet.
Thanks to SCT for proofreading the script.
Pokfulam reservoir was the first reservoir in Hong Kong, and was completed in 1863 to provide a stable water supply to the City of Victoria. It was one of the first large scale infrastructure projects in the early days of colonisation. The reservoir is no longer a major source of water for Hong Kong island but houses six declared monuments recording the early urban development of the colony.(1)
In order to protect water from being contaminated or tapped illegally the reservoir was guarded by a watchman who was employed by the Public Works Department. R. Dias was the first watchman and received a salary of 30 pounds sterling. In the early days of colonial Hong Kong reservoirs were usually guarded by the British and filter beds were secured by Indians or Portuguese. Only after 1892 were Chinese employed.
The cottage was the residence of the reservoir guardsmen. It is a neo-classical granite structure, yet combining different architectural styles to adapt to the local climate e.g. the dual-tiled Chinese roof can offer better water and thermal insulation. With the opening of Pokfulam Country Park in 1979, the cottage was reused as the Park’s management centre. It was declared a monument in 2009.
Along the road uphill, a series of bricked-up bunkers can be spotted. The bunkers were part of the colonial defense works against the Japanese invasion in WW2. The Pokfulam countryside was defended by Canadian Winnipeg Grenadiers, although no major battle happened in that area. The bunkers, with a capacity for 45 soldiers were defended by the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps.
The gauge basin was used to monitor the flow and depth of water. It was built
in the Italianate Renaissance style and is a declared monument.
Four Masonry Bridges
The four bridges, declared as monuments in 2009, connect the uneven landscape of the Pokfulam Reservoir. Underneath its bitumen covered bridge deck, there are bridges built in the Renaissance Gothic architectural style, with semicircular arches for the first three bridges and a lancet arch for the last. The fine craftmanship of the bridges can be seen from the fine finishing decorated in reticulated or vermiculated patterns. For safety reasons it is recommended to peek at the bridges afar, where the fences on them can serve as an identifier.(1)
- Heritage & Urban Development in Pokfulam, Publisher and date of publication unknown
This article was first posted on xxxx xxxx.
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