Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mountain Lodge

Mountain Lodge was once the alternate summer residence of the Governor of Hong Kong since 1900. It was located on Victoria Peak on the Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. The commanding view gave the then-Governor a view of the entire colony.

The lodge was first designed in 1892 by Francis Cooper, the Director of Public Works, but when Sir Henry Arthur Blake became Governor, he did not like the proposal and appointed Palmer & Turner for another design. It was constructed in the style of Scottish lodges. The building was described by the media as the most imposing and handsome architecture on the peak.

This lodge was seldom used and by the 1920s it had become heavily deteriorated.

The building no longer exists as it was demolished in 1946. The Gate Lodge and the granite foundations remain, however.

The whole site was opened as a park to the public. The existing pavilion of the Garden was built upon the masonry platform of the former Mountain Lodge.

Three identical marking stones for the Lodge were rediscovered in 1978; since then, one of them has been placed at the northeast corner of the former lodge grounds. One of the three ''GOVERNORS RESIDENCE'' stones has been erected in a flowerbed close to the , Mid-levels since 1980.

Archaeological find

On 10 January, during the Peak improvement project that starts in January 2007, pieces of wall, roof tiles and several in situ granite steps beneath the ground were found during pre-construction checks. Antiquities officers confirmed it is the location of the former governors' summer residence.

The full archaeological investigation will take about two months by The Antiquities & Monuments Office. Officers will conduct field investigations and test pits, and undertake a detailed recording and in-depth research on the structures discovered in the pits.

The office will submit its findings to the Government and the Antiquities Advisory Board to assess the heritage value of the site and the structures uncovered, as well as appropriate conservation approaches.

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