Shing Mun Reservoir is a reservoir in Hong Kong. It is located in Shing Mun, the area between Tsuen Wan and Sha Tin, in the New Territories. Administratively, it is located within the boundaries of Tsuen Wan District.[1]

Shing Mun Reservoir
Shing Mun Reservoir
Shing Mun Reservoir is located in Hong Kong
Shing Mun Reservoir
Shing Mun Reservoir
LocationHong Kong
Coordinates22°23′10″N 114°8′50″E / 22.38611°N 114.14722°E / 22.38611; 114.14722
Shing Mun Reservoir
Traditional Chinese城門水塘
Simplified Chinese城门水塘
Literal meaningCity gate reservoir
Shing Mun Reservoir Gorge Dam.
Reservoir bellmouth overflow and valve tower (in the background).
Valve tower and steel bridge.

History Edit

Human life in Shing Mun Reservoir Edit

Several hundreds years ago, the area around the reservoir was a dense forest with very few inhabitants. At least from 1646 to 1659, Southern Ming loyalist Li Wanrong (李萬榮), leading a cohort numbering in thousands, controlled Kowloon and much of today's New Territories, collecting taxes and fortifying villages,[2][3] including erecting a fortress in the lower part of the Shing Mun River valley. Hence the area became known as Shing Mun or "fortified gate".[citation needed]

After 1669, when the Great Clearance imposed by the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty was rescinded, many Hakkas settled in this area, growing rice, tea and pineapples. In the early 20th century, there were seven villages in the area.[citation needed]

Construction Edit

The Shing Mun Reservoir was built as part of the Shing Mun Water Supply Scheme formulated in 1923 to meet the increasing demand for fresh water due to the urbanisation of Kowloon. To a design by London dam engineers Messrs Binnie, Deacon & Gourley, construction began in 1933 of a dam 122 metres wide and 35 metres high which, upon completion, had a capacity of 4 billion litres. By the conclusion of Phase Three of the scheme in 1937, the dam had been extended to 85 metres in height and 13.6 billion litres capacity. The name Jubilee Reservoir (銀禧水塘) was designated to celebrate the Silver Jubilee (1935) of King George V of the United Kingdom, though the name has fallen into disuse.[4][5]

Effect on locals Edit

The local inhabitants were resettled in other parts of the New Territories, including Shing Mun San Tsuen, Wo Hop Shek, Pan Chung and Kam Tsin Wai.[6] Some of the old villages are now submerged. The remains of other villages and houses can be seen in the woods on the side of the reservoir. The remains of Gin Drinkers Line on the nearby hills show the defences of British forces against the Japanese invasion during World War II.

Features Edit

The main dam, or Gorge Dam, located at the southern end of the reservoir incorporated several technological novelties at the time of its construction.[4] The dam is an early form of concrete-faced rockfill dam with the upstream reinforced concrete face being near vertical, supported on a mass concrete thrust block.[7] The 85m high dam was the then (1936) highest dam in the old British Empire.[8]

The bellmouth overflow is a circular masonry structure in the reservoir surmounted by a masonry footbridge connecting it to the shore. This uncommon feature replaces the overspill weirs found at other reservoirs. Designed in 1935 by Geoffrey Binnie of Binnie, Deacon & Gourley, the bellmouth overflow received the Telford Premium Award from the Institution of Civil Engineers.[4][9]

The subsidiary 25m high Pineapple Pass Dam consists of earth, rockfill and concrete core.[8]

Fauna Edit

Macaque monkeys are common in the area.

Conservation Edit

Memorial Stone of Shing Mun Reservoir.

The gorge dam, the valve tower and the bellmouth overflow are listed as Grade I historic buildings, while the steel bridge of the reservoir is listed as a Grade II historic building.[10]

The Memorial Stone of Shing Mun Reservoir was declared as a monument[11] in September 2009. It was part of a batch of 41 pre-World War II waterworks structures located in six reservoir areas, namely Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, Tai Tam Group of Reservoirs, Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, Kowloon Reservoir, Shing Mun (Jubilee) Reservoir and Aberdeen Reservoir, that were declared at that time.[12]

To preserve the natural environment of the reservoir, the surrounding area is managed under Shing Mun Country Park.[13]

The Shing Mun Fung Shui Woodland covers about 6 hectares near the northeastern end of the Shing Mun Reservoir. Historically related to the former nearby Tai Wai Village, that was evacuated in 1929, the woodland was protected by the villagers in accordance with feng shui traditions.[14] The woodland has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1975.[15]

Trails Edit

Two walking trails, Wilson Trail and MacLehose Trail, cross at the side of the reservoir.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "District Council Constituency Boundaries - Tsuen Wan District" (PDF). Electoral Affairs Commission.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Lo, Heung-lam (2009). Chinese Ethnic History (中國民族史). Chunghwa Book Publishing (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd. ISBN 9789628931873.
  3. ^ Faure, David (1 March 2007). Emperor and Ancestor: State and Lineage in South China. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804767934.
  4. ^ a b c Antiquities Advisory Board. Historic Building Appraisal. Shing Mun (Jubilee) Reservoir, Gorge Dam, Valve Tower, Steel Bridge, Bellmouth Overflow, & Memorial Stone
  5. ^ "Shing Mun Reservoir". Water Supplies Department. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Antiquities Advisory Board. Historic Building Appraisal. Cheng Hon Pang Ancestral Hall, Kam Tsin Wai, Pat Heung
  7. ^ Carlyle, Bill (2008). "The Binnie heritage in dam engineering". Dams and Reservoirs. 18 (3): 121–134. doi:10.1680/dare.2008.18.3.121.
  8. ^ a b Guilford, C. Michael (1997). "A Look Back: Civil Engineering in Hong Kong, 1841-1941" (PDF). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch. 37: 96. ISSN 1991-7295.
  9. ^ Muir Wood, Sir Alan (1990). Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society: Geoffrey Morse Binnie (13 November 1908 – 5 April 1989). London: Royal Society. p. 47. JSTOR 770079.
  10. ^ Antiquities Advisory Board. List of the 1,444 Historic Buildings with Assessment Results
  11. ^ "Declared Monuments in Hong Kong, Memorial Stone of Shing Mun Reservoir". Antiquities and Monuments Office.
  12. ^ "41 waterworks structures declared monuments". Government of Hong Kong. 18 September 2009.
  13. ^ "WSD - Shing Mun Reservoir". Water Supplies Department. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Shing Mun Fung Shui Woodland" (PDF). Planning Department. 30 September 1992.
  15. ^ "Register of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)". Planning Department.

External links Edit