Kennedy Town Glassworks / Temporary Plague Hospital [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Kennedy Town Glassworks / Temporary Plague Hospital [????-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists

Hugh Farmer:

I am trying to find out the exact location of the Kennedy Town Glassworks which was used as a hospital during the Plague of 1894. I have looked at the 1895 map of the Mount Davis area, including Kennedy Town shown on Gwulo but can't find it.

Also does anyone have any information about Glassworks itself, dates, manufacturing what exactly and what became of the buildings post Plague?


There is a photo of the Glassworks circa 1898 which later became the Plague Hospital on Page 73 of "City of Victoria" published by the Urban Council. it shows the Glassworks to be on today's Victoria Road just up the slope and past the end of Kennedy Town. See:

In a small garden at the end of Kennedy Town, I think there is a small memorial of the Plague Hospital.

Hugh Farmer:

Thanks moddsey, that was quick work. Very helpful.

If anyone has more information about the glassworks itself rather than when it was requisitioned as a hospital I would be very grateful.

Photos that show this place



An 1897 Map (UK National Archive reference: MPHH 1-412) shows a 'Glass Works' between Davis Street and Cadogan Street. I've put the marker at that location on the map above.

I'm not sure what the connection is with the Flickr photo shown above, eg if there were two Glass Works in the area, or if the building in the Flickr photo was for another purpose.

Here's the remnant of the old Tung Wah smallpox hospital that Moddsey mentioned:

Tung Wah smallpox hospital

It's in a small garden near the big bus terninus on Victoria Road.

Regards, David

PS If you've got questions about a place, I recommend you create a new 'Place' page for it. It's a bit of extra work initially, but it's easier in the long term than having multiple discussions mixed up on the same page. Once you've logged in, you can find the link to create a new Place near the bottom of the menu on the left of the page.

Can anyone confirm when the Kennedy Town Hospital closed?  i have a record of a relative being appointed as a Sister there in 1912 (on a salary of one hundred and ten pounds a year) but if it was only a temporary hospital this seems an awfully long 'temporary'?  Were there other hospitals in Kennedy Town?

I don't know the answer, but can give a couple of ideas where to look:

  • Blue Books. I guess she will be listed there if she was paid by the government. You could trace through successive years to see how long she was at the hospital for.
  • Or a search for Kennedy Town Hospital in HKGRO and old newspapers might turn up details of when it opened / closed.
Good luck, and please let us know what you find.
Regards, David

Moddsey notes:

A long article on the Hong Kong and Macao Glass Manufacturing Company Limited in Kennedy Town is available in the Hong Kong Daily Press dated 9 January 1886. From newspaper records, the Glassworks did not last long. By 1889 the Company had closed down and reclamation was taking place on the foreshore in front of the Glassworks.  On 20 May 1894, the old Glassworks was  used as a temporary plague hospital.

To find the article, search for glassworks. Here's an extract from that article, describing the Glassworks' appearance:

The Glassworks will externally be seen to be a large rectangular 2-storeyed building some 220 feet in length by about 110 feet in breadth, having a boiler-shed, and chimney shaft attached. The 2-storeyed buildings referred to are some 16 feet in width and are thus made to enclose 3 sides of a parallelogram or space in the centre open to the air. The western side is bounded by the glasshouse proper, a square building, from the centre of the roof of which is seen projecting the tall cone previously referred to.

That matches the layout shown on the maps, though the cone chimney isn't visible by the time the 1920s photo was taken.

Moddsey, first an apology for not replying to your post earlier, I’m afraid I have only just noticed it.

The article in the Hong Kong Daily Press dated 9 January 1886 is as you say long and also appears to be extremely informative proving considerable details about the company and operations. I will post the full article and the other information that has been collected here  on   I hope that is alright with all concerned.

This photo from 1894 shows the Glassworks when in temporary  use as a hospital. If it is the same hospital, and it seems to be too much of a coincidence to have two glassworks In Kennedy Town each being used as a temporary hospital, then the room is about 16 feet in width and the length could also be about right.



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