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Leung Ancestral Hall at Yuen Kong Tsuen, Pat Heung, Yuen Long, gazetted as historical building

A notice was gazetted on 17 November 2006 announcing that the Leung Ancestral Hall at Yuen Kong Tsuen, Pat Heung, Yuen Long will be a declared historical building under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Chapter 53) with effect from 12 January 2007.

Built by the Leung clan in Yuen Kong Tsuen, Pat Heung, the Leung Ancestral Hall has a history of about 200 years. The Leungs came originally from Dongguan of Guangdong Province. Led by Leung Kwok Chor, the 12th generation ancestor, the Leung clan migrated to the New Territories during the 17th and 18th Century. His son, Leung Tai Shing, finally settled in Pat Heung, Yuen Long and established Yuen Kong Tsuen there, which explains why the Leung Ancestral Hall is now owned by Leung Tai Shing Tso. Later on, the descendants of Leungs branched out to Wang Chau in Ping Shan, Tai Tong Tsuen in Shap Pat Heung and Shun Fung Wai in Tuen Mun.

Yuen Kong Tsuen was so named owing to its topography. According to local villagers, originally there was a round mound at the back of Yuen Kong Rural Committee Office. The village was subsequently known as Yuen Kong, which literally means a round mound. With the expansion of the village, the mound was levelled to make way for the present playground and the village was later renamed as the present Yuen (a different Chinese character which has the same pronunciation but does not mean 'round' any more) Kong Tsuen. Due to rural development in recent years, many old houses in Yuen Kong Tsuen have either been rebuilt or demolished. The Leung Ancestral Hall is among a few historical buildings remaining there. Today, the Leung Ancestral Hall is still used to hold traditional ceremonies such as ancestral worship, lantern ceremony and Autumn ancestral worship, and as a meeting place for clansmen.

The Leung Ancestral Hall is a typical Qing vernacular building having a layout of two-hall-one-courtyard. Side chambers are located at both sides of the courtyard. The right side chamber houses a kitchen, which was once used for cooking basin meals during festive events.

The building is characterized by its solemn façade constructed of the granite block base and the brick wall complete with finely carved fascia boards and traditional Chinese murals on the top. The stone lintel above the main entrance is engraved with the name of the Ancestral Hall. The roof ridges are decorated with plastered motifs of auspicious animals and patterns like dragon fish, peony, plums and lotus, and its gable walls are adorned with delicate leafy mouldings.

The wooden altar housing the ancestral tablets is placed at the main bay of the rear hall. The altar is richly decorated with colours and carved with a mixture of stylized plants such as plums, bamboo, peony, peach and lotus which represent different seasons to signify the flourishing growth of descendants.

Full restoration having been completed this year, the Leung Ancestral Hall is now as splendid as in the past with such social functions as ancestral worship being continued there. To facilitate the public to learn about the local history and cultural heritage of the area, the Antiquities and Monuments Office is arranging to open the Leung Ancestral Hall for public viewing. Details of the opening will be announced in due course.

 

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