Declared Monuments in Hong Kong - Hong Kong Island
The Green Island lighthouse compound comprises an old lighthouse built in 1875, a new lighthouse built in 1904, former European quarters and a former keeper’s house. Both the old and the new lighthouses have illuminated the course for thousands of vessels entering Hong Kong waters from the western approach for over a century and have played an important role in Hong Kong’s maritime history.
The Green Island lighthouse started operation on 1 July 1875, about three months after Hong Kong’s first lighthouse was erected at Cape D’Aguilar. A plan to move the lantern of the Cape D’Aguilar lighthouse to Green Island was proposed in 1901, and this required the construction of a taller and larger tower to accommodate it.
The construction of a new lighthouse adjacent to the old one on Green Island commenced in 1904 and was completed in 1905, and the old lighthouse then lost its original function. The new lighthouse was fully automated in the 1970s and is still in use today.
The old lighthouse is a 12-metre tall small circular tower constructed of granite with a doorway that features projected rock-faced quoins. On the walls are two cross-shaped openings resembling the arrow slits found in mediaeval European castles that are designed to admit air and light.
The new lighthouse is also a circular tower. Constructed of granite and concrete, it is about 17.5 metres tall with a steel lantern on top. The whole structure is painted white to ensure its high visibility for seafarers as well as to provide thermal insulation and protection for the structure itself. The spiral staircase is of fine masonry with beautiful railings, while the entrance and window are in the form of segmental arches with ornamental plaster mouldings.
Probably built in the late 19th century, the former European staff quarters forms an integral part of the lighthouse compound. The building is adorned with Classical features, such as the front porch supported by columns with modified capitals. The quarters was originally a single-storey building, but an upper floor was added in 1923.
The former keeper’s house is a one-storey flat-roofed block in a simple L-shape; it features segmental arched windows and overhanging eaves.
The 1950s saw the duties of lighthouse keeper previously fulfilled by Europeans gradually taken over by local staff, but they also became redundant when automatic equipment was introduced in the 1970s. The two buildings serving as quarters for the lighthouse staff were then converted and used as the Police Recreation Centre for a time. The two quarters and the surrounding area (except for the two lighthouses) had also been leased to the Wu Oi Christian Centre as a youth drug treatment and rehabilitation centre.
Green Island lighthouse compound was declared a monument in 2008.
Green Island (Plan)
This lighthouse compound is managed by the Marine Department (New Green Island Lighthouse) and the Government Property Agency. For security and operational reasons, the complex is not open to the public.