Central Hong Kong

History of Central, Hong Kong

1841 - A military base is established by the British as they first occupied Hong Kong

1850 - Stalls creating traditional Chinese name "chops" or seals congregate at what is to become Man Wa Lane to support the needs of local traders in the growing trading colony.  Today the street still exists, though these days colourful business cards or company stamps are a more likely thing to be ordered than an ivory name seal.

1887 - Reclamation starts under William Des Voeux, the 10th British colonial governor. His name is given later to the Des Voeux road.

1906 - The North Block of the Western Market is built, being an extension to the 1844 original Western Market.  Today only the North Block still remains and is a fine preserved example of Edwardian commercial architecture.  Visit for the quirky ground floor shops and eateries.  Don't miss taking the staircase to the public conveniences which seem to have been lifted in toto from an episode of a BBC period drama!

1912 - The "New Law Courts" open alongside Statue Square, a massive structure built out of granite from Hong Kong island, designed by leading British architect Sir Aston Webb and Ingress Bell, who later worked on parts of Buckingham Palace and the V&A in London, it is a quintessential piece of British Empire still found in Hong Kong.  After 15 years of construction it served from as the Legislative Council Building from 1985 til 2011.  Today it is again a court of justice.

1918 - Lin Heung Tea House opens a branch in Central after having been a success in nearby Guangzhou. Still operating today at 160 Wellington Street it serves

1925 - The Queen's Pier was both a public pier a a place for ceremonial receptions of dignitaries such as the incoming British Governors.