Kennedy Town Police Station / Infectious Diseases Hospital, Victoria Road [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Kennedy Town Police Station / Infectious Diseases Hospital, Victoria Road [????- ]

The position is approximate. It is marked on a 1924 map, but I'm not sure who ran it or what type of illnesses it treated. It may have been connected with the Tung Wah Plague Hospital, which was on the adjacent plot of land.

Photos that show this place


Moddsey writes:

I think the building with the arches and marked hospital on the map was the original Kennedy Town Police Station. It was later converted into a hospital upon the onset of bubonic plague in 1894. A photo of the building indicated as the Glass Works appears here There may have been some confusion as the Glass Works was also used as a Plague Hospital.

G. R. Sayer's Hong Kong 1862-1919 mentions that the Kennedy Town Police Station was converted into an infectious disease hospital after a few years and has remained to this day (probably at the time of book completion in 1939).

A search in HKGRO for kennedy town police finds several mentions.

Governnment Notification 162 in April 1889 requests tenders for "drainage works at Kennedytown Police Station".  It's not clear if that is just preparing a site. or the building is already standing.

The Report for the Year 1892 from the Public Works Office notes that "The following new buildings were completed in 1891. The Civil Hospital Coolie Quarters, Lunatic Asylum for Chinese, Police Stations at Aberdeen, Kennedy Town and Quarry Bay, and the District School Saiyingpun, the maintenance and repair of which therefore became chargeable during the past year to this vote."

I'll set the completion year to 1891, based on that.

Next is the Public Works report for the first half of 1894, with a longer section about bubonic plague:

40.Special Work caused by the Outbreak of Bubonic Plague. – Cemeteries for the burial of Chinese victims were opened at Kennedy Town west of the Police Station, and at Sandy Bay.

A special cemetery for European victims was made in an isolated position inside the area of the existing Public Cemetery. (C.S.O.1335/1894)

Two matshed hospitals were erected: one near the Glass Works, and the other on the eastern side of the Kennedy Town Police Station. (C.S.O.1399/1894)

A temporary depot for cattle was constructed upon Marine lot 126, C.S.O1425/1894, in order that the existing Cattle Depot might be made available for hospital purposes if necessary.

Brick walls were constructed across certain streets in Tai-Ping-Shan, in order to wall in the depopulated area. (C.S.O.1472 – 1894)

A despatch dated 20th June, 1894, writes:

25. The hospitals at present in existence are:

(1)The Hygeia,for 40 patients
(2)Kennedy Town,for 45 patients
(3)Kennedy Town Convalescent,for 25 patients
(4)New Pig Depot,for 140 patients
(5)New Glass Works Matshed,for 50 patients

Next is a report from the Medical Committee in May 1895, which ends:

We would further beg to suggest that the Kennedy Town Police Station be permanently reserved as Hospital for the reception of infectious or contagious diseases, when the Hygeia is full or when it is undesirable to remove patients across the water.

Their interest is expanded on in The Acting Colonial Surgeon's Report for 1895:


Kennedy Town Hospital.

This building was handed over to the Department in April, 1895, and is a most valuable adjunct for the treatment of persons suffering from infectious disease.

It is situated at the extreme western limits of the City and, consists of one two-storied block containing accommodation for 36 patients together with attendant's room, office and dispensary within the premises and approached by a covered way are situated the necessary kitchen, stores, mortuary and out-offices. The concreted yard surrounding the buildings provide suitable sites for the erection of temporary matsheds which, during the prevalence of epidemics, will be found most useful.

There were 5 cases of small-pox treated there during the year, one of which that of a man who was admitted in a moribund condition terminated fatally 3 hours after admission.

There were in addition 40 patients admitted to this Hospital during the year, 31 of these proved to be bubonic plague, the remaining 9 were removed to this hospital under observation.

Temporary Small-pox Hospital.

In addition to the foregoing cases treated at the Kennedy Town Hospital 20 patients suffering from small-pox were treated here, 3 of which terminated fatally. The fatal cases with those of Chinese foundlings who had not been vaccinated.

2 cases of cholera removed from H.M.S.Rainbow were treated during the year, neither cases ended fatally.

Hospital Hulk "Hygeia"

The hospital ship was maintained during the year in a satisfactory condition.

The Police Report for 1900 says:

A new Police Station was also built at Kennedy Town and the Police occupied it on the 1st of October. (see

So it looks like the Police never got their building back after 1895.

Regards, David

Dear David Belli,


The square building is originally a glass factory built in 1870s. It was used as temporary infectious disease hospital in 1894. It was re-opened in 1899. Sir Blake laid the foundation stone for the hospital in 15th Nov 1901. It was re-opened for smallpox patients as Western Brach of TungWahHospital in 1907. Government gave the land for building three buildings in 19 Sept 1908. TungWahSmallpoxHospital was established in 21 Oct 1908 with three buildings, gate erected and opened in 1910. It was reconstructed into WesternLeprosyHospital in 1938 but broken down by Japanese in 1941. The area became squatter area after war. It was developed into residential area and park in 1980s. (From: Illustrating Hong Kong Historic Buildings 1898-1919)


I have come across a photo showing the Kennedy Police Station. It is in a rather high level and in small size. The position of Kennedy Police Station may be the Belcher’s Block or Belcher’s Battery and the Pofulam Road, West High and Mount Davis in the background. The appearance of Kennedy Police Station is similar as Tai O Police Station but without the circular lookout tower.


The appearance of the square building is not like a police station and it was so big comparing with the 1st and 2nd generations of the No. 7 Police Station in Pokfulam Road in Sai Ying Pun where is highly populated while Kennedy Town is so rural that time. No. 1 Police Station in CausewayBay, No. 3 Police Station in Wanchai, No. 4 Police Station in Admiralty, No. 5 Police Station in Wellington Street and No. 8 Police Station in Tai Ping Shan are also very small respected to the dense population there.


I have sent the photo of the Kennedy Police Station to you for your interest.


Thanks and regards,


The 1889 PWD Report confirmed that the Police Station had been completed.

The Glassworks and Ropeworks were below the level of the Police Station and the lots were separated by Davis Street.

 Report of the Colonial Surgeon 17 August 1895 as shown here

" During the year the Kennedytown (sic) Police Barracks was handed over temporarily to the Medical Department and ultimately was taken over permanently as an Epidemic Hospital. Its retention as such was strongly recommended by a number of people who knew little or nothing about it, whilst those who knew most were not consulted in the matter at all.  It is most satisfactory to know that this Police 'white elephant' has been ultimately made 'passable' as an infectious hospital at some considerable cost. Whether it will be seriously required (as a Police Barracks), I doubt very much. During the winter months, it makes a pleasant country residence for some of the Police Force, who previously had no use for the building - so it was said.

Kennedytown Barracks proved a faily good hospital, but its proximity to the trees on Mount Davis made it a hunting ground for flies and mosquitoes which sometimes added greatly to our patients' sufferings. The arrangements of the rooms also left much to be desired."

It might be a police barracks rather than police station or factory considering the size and factory chimney.

Here's a map from 1889 that clarifies the locations of the original Police Station, the Glass Works, and the Rope Works:

1889 Map of Kennedy Town

Regards, David

Thanks David for the map. It clarifies that the primary information given in the HKGRO is correct.

Thanks for the precious map to clarify the 1st generation of Kennedy Town Police Station respected to its wondering size in the rural area. It seens that the statue in Kennedy Town may be important for the planned development there. However, there is no police station in Kennedy Town now. It may be possibly explained by the expanision and rebuilt of the 1st generation of No.7 Police Station in Western Street in 1902, and then the Sailors' Home became the third generation of No. 7 Police Station in Sai Ying Pun in 1920s. :)

When the 2nd generation Kennedy Town Police Station was built in 1900, it was a branch station of the No. 7 Police Station. At the time, the new Kennedy Town Police Station was described as 'a healthy and convenient station.'

I have upload the photos of No.1 to No.9 Police Stations: