The Towers, Broadwood Road [1916-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

The Towers, Broadwood Road [1916-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 

The location and date are rough guesses, based on the photos from Sean, and this entry he found in the Carl T Smith records:

July 15, 1933. SCMP: "The Towers" on a ridge above Broadwood Road at Happy Valley, built by the late Mr. C. E. Warren, and after his death occupied by his family for some years. Sold at auction to Messrs. Kwong Ning and Tam Man-Shiu, $45,000. Crown Lease May 22, 1916.

Sean notes:

It is incorrect when it says the Warren family lived there after Charles Warren died. It was sold about 1924.

Any further information about this building welcome.


Photos that show this place


More notes from Sean:

This house was built between 1916/1917 and was the home of Charles W.Warren and his wife Hannah who was my great aunt and the half sister of the aforesaid John Olson and Charles W, Olson.

Any information regarding The Towers and it's history after 1923 when Charles Warren died would be appreciated. I think it ended as a school before making way for new high rise buildings. - it that "The Towers" on the hill (click to the external link and zoom) , and if so, can we add to this place?


As far as I can see you have found another picture of The Towers. At full blow up it looks pretty right to me. I will upload a clearer picture of the property which may be of help.

I think it ended up as a prep school. Don't know where I got this info but maybe from HK Jockey Club History quoted in

Thanks, Sean

Sean, there are a couple of glimpses of it in this film from Andrew.

Thanks David. What a fascinating clip. Yes that is The Towers and it certainly had a view over the racecourse second to none I suspect.

Any date on the film?


Andrew says they're from the 1930s, but no exact date on this one.

Reason I asked the date is that in the brief glimpse on the video I could not see the other Olson house which is shown on the 1923 postcard. That would have been 13 Broadwood Road according to the 1927 Jury list when Charles Olson was still living there.


Could we change the "place" location based on this:

From JILL:

Mount Caroline Cemetery is situated just below what was The Towers at 20 Broadwood Road, now demolished, but final home of my grandfather Charles Warren (1872-1923).

Map at

Lots near Mount Caroline Cemetery

Hi Jill,

Any chance you know the Lot Number for The Towers, so we can pinpoint its location?

Regards, David

I’m not sure if I have the ultimate lot no. of The Towers in my papers. A 1913 purchase application by C.E. Warren specifies a piece of Crown land below I.L. 1911 Wongneichong consisting of 14,500 sq.ft.. The ensuing correspondence mentions that it was a prominent site below Mr Button’s house, which would take up land both on the ridge and on the Happy Valley side of the hill near the convent. This would seem to fit, I think. 


No. 5 (former) - IL 1911

IL 1911 is now the developments of Happy View Terrace.  Details here

I also found this at the PRO website in CSO file 5/68/1913

Proposed building lots on ridge east of Happy Valley - application of Messrs Little & Warren for purchase, tender for the construction of a road giving access to inland lots 1946 - 1947 on the spur to the east of happy valley.  But it appears that they didn't get it.  The lease documents show that IL 1946 went to KAN HUNG CHIU.

No. 6    - IL 1946 is now Beverly Hills.

"The Towers" was much further down the ridge.

No. 10  - IL 8524 is now Villa Rocha

No. 12  - IL 2132 is now "Broadwood 12"

No. 18  - IL 8525 is now Villa Lotto

No. 20  - IL 8812 is now Broadwood Villa

No. 38  - IL 8526 is now Broadwood Park



Both Happy View Terrace and Beverly Hills are too far north for the Towers site, judging by the photo above which places the mansion south of St Paul's convent. Location as currently fixed looks about right, or possibly slightly more north in Villa Lotto

Thank you so much, Annelise. I didn't have time to finish this rather thick file of correspondence on my last visit. Rather confusingly, the 'applicants' seemed to be Hewlett & Co., despite the lead application for purchase being from Little & Warren. I gather from Diana Warren that the access road to the cemetery would have been much further down from The Towers. I will try to bring in another possible contributor to this debate, who, with the other children in Broadwood Road, used to play in The Towers in the late '40s when it was still empty.

Jill, in case you haven't thought of it already, the Survey & Mapping Office's aerial photos would be a good resource to trace the development through the years from 1924 (the first year they have photos for).

Regards, David

Thanks, David. I'll have a look at this. My grandfather, Charles Warren, died in 1923 though, by which time the Ridge development had been completed, according to his obituary.