Historic Lighthouses in Hong Kong

Historic Lighthouses in Hong Kong

Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Project Fund

Faculties: Architecture and Arts

Dr F F Ng and Dr P A Cunich

Research Team:
Dr S W Poon and Dr Y Deng
Ir K F Man, Ir K Y Ma, Mr T W Tsin
Prof W M Leung, Mr J Farrell

Mr Wilson Wo

URL: Historic Lighthouses in Hong Kong

The Gap Rock Lighthouse

Deng, Katherine Members of Research Team and Knowledge Exchange Team
Dr. S.W. Poon; Dr. F.F. Ng; Dr. Y. Deng
Ir K.Y. Ma; Ir K.F. Man; Mr. T. W. Tsin
Prof. W.M. Leung; Mr. J. Farrell


Support from:

  • Lord Wilson Heritage Trust
  • Knowledge Exchange Impact Project Fund, The University of Hong Kong

History of lighthouses in Hong Kong

  • In 1857 the Office of Committee of Privy Council for Trade asked the colony to build a lighthouse on Pratas Shoal in South China Sea.
  • In 1867, Commander Reed recommended Waglan, Green Island and Gap Rock as favourable sites for lighthouses.
  • In 1873, the Harbour Master suggested to build lighthouses at Waglan, North-east end of Lema Island and Gap Rock. But all these places were in China’s territory.
  • Lighthouses were built at Cape D’ Aguilar (1875), Green Island (1875) and Cape Collinson (1876).
  • In 1886, Captain J.P. MaClear suggested to Rumsey a lighthouse be built for ships coming from the South.
  • Negotiations between Britain and China for building a lighthouse on Gap Rock.

June 1888

  • The Qing Government authorized a lighthouse be built on Gap Rock Island.
  • China contributed $7,500 (construction) and $750 annually (maintenance).
  • Estimated construction cost: £10,000 (1872), $45,000 (1873), $90,000 (1886).
  • China would maintain the sovereignty of the Island.

Design and construction

  • The Light Tower
  • European quarters
  • Chinese quarters
  • A house for condensing apparatus
  • A kitchen/cook house
  • Lantern – first order, 42m above mean sea level, visible from 32 km in clear weather


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