Century-old Romanesque underground reservoir discovered in Shek Kip Mei


Demolition of an underground reservoir that is believed to have been completed in 1904 was suspended by Hong Kong authorities on December 28 amid public outcry. Conservationists pushed government to restore pre-war underground water chamber.

Located in a 4,300sq m site at Bishop Hill in Shek Kip Mei, Sham Shui Po, the Romanesque cistern featuring underground chambers with 100 brick pillars and water pipes were discovered while the Water Supplies Department was clearing the site in preparation to hand over to the Lands Department for other use. 

Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Reminiscence

Citizens who saw the excavation tried to stop the workers and alerted district councillors, who then proceeded to the site on Monday. Hikers, photographers, and various spectators flocked to the site to take photos of the area. 

Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Reminiscence

Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Reminiscence

Reservoirs in Hong Kong were built after World War II, but the Bishop Hill cistern shows a water pipe with '1909' written on it which dates the site during the pre-war period. Local historians believe that the discovery could be a valuable historical relic on Kowloon’s development. 

Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Reminiscence

Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Reminiscence

Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Reminiscence

Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Reminiscence

According to the Water Supplies Department, staffers from Antiquities and Monuments Office have already inspected the area and will conduct further assessments to determine how to move forward. The public has been advised not to visit the area for safety reasons.  

#HOMEISHONGKONG #CULTURE

Reference:
1.
https://www.timeout.com/hong-kong/news/century-old-romanesque-underground-reservoir-discovered-in-shek-kip-mei-122920
2. https://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news/section/11/226099/'Roman-arches'-discovery-halts-Bishop-Hill-construction


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