The old Victoria Prison (originally named ‘Victoria Gaol’) includes some of the earliest colonial buildings to have survived in Hong Kong since the mid-19th century.
A prime concern of the British after their possession of Hong Kong Island in 1841 was the establishment of law and order. They first built a stone gaol on an elevated site behind Hollywood Road, but this soon became overcrowded. A total reconstruction was launched in 1858 and completed in 1862. The east wing (now known as D Hall) of the main block and a watchtower (now known as Bauhinia House) survive from this period.
The gaol compound continued to be renovated and expanded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and after the Second World War it served as a remand prison and later as a part of the Immigration Department. The prison began to receive illegal immigrants and Vietnamese refugees in the early 1980s. It was decommissioned in 2006.
The old Victoria Prison Compound, the old Central Police Station Compound and the former Central Magistracy form a unique cluster of buildings, which allow the historical development of the institutions of law and order in Hong Kong since the mid-19th century to be traced.
Introduction to the Central Police Station