Grading: Declared Monument (Facade of the Old Mental Hospital, High Street); Grade 2 Historic Building (Old Lunatic Asylum Chinese Block Main Building & Staff Quarters)
Before the first mental hospital was established in Hong Kong, people with mental illnesses were seen as lunatics and held in prisons. It was until the end of the 19th century that things started to change.
Completed in 1891, this red brick building on Eastern Street was the Chinese Lunatic Asylum. The granite structure next to it, built in 1892, was originally the dormitory for the foreign nurses serving at the Government Civil Hospital. To relieve the overcrowded condition of the lunatic asylum, the dormitory was later converted into wards for mentally ill female patients. The Chinese Lunatic Asylum, together with the female mental wards and the now demolished European Lunatic Asylum, were merged and called the Victoria Mental Hospital. After the opening of the Castle Peak Hospital, the Chinese Lunatic Asylum has turned into a methadone clinic since then. Known locally as the “High Street Haunted House”, the female mental hospital was left vacant for about 40 years and was demolished for redevelopment in 2001, with only the granite facade and the verandas retained.
The project is supported by Lord Wilson Heritage Trust.
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