Shing Mun Reservoir

Shing Mun Reservoir

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Shing Mun Reservoir is a reservoir
Reservoir
A reservoir , artificial lake or dam is used to store water.Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such as brickwork or cast concrete.The term reservoir may also be used to...

 in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

. It is located in Shing Mun
Shing Mun
Shing Mun is an area between Tsuen Wan and Sha Tin in the New Territories of Hong Kong. It is formerly, as suggested by its Chinese characters, a gate between the two areas separated by a range of hills. The Shing Mun Valley carries water to Shing Mun River. Before the construction of Shing Mun...

, the area between Tsuen Wan
Tsuen Wan
Tsuen Wan is a bay in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong, opposite to Tsing Yi Island across Rambler Channel. The market town of Tsuen Wan emerged for the surrounding villages and fleets of fishing boats in the area. The town is around the present-day Tsuen Wan Station of the MTR...

 and Sha Tin
Sha Tin
Sha Tin, also spelled Shatin, is an area around the Shing Mun River in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Administratively, it is part of the Sha Tin District.-Geography:...

, in the New Territories
New Territories
New Territories is one of the three main regions of Hong Kong, alongside Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. It makes up 86.2% of Hong Kong's territory. Historically, it is the region described in The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory...

.

History


Several hundreds years ago, the area around the reservoir was a dense forest with very few inhabitants. In the early days of the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 (17th century), a former general of the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 became a pirate and built his fortress in the lower part of the river valley. Hence the area is now called Shung Mun or "fortified gate".

After 1669, when the Great Clearance
Great Clearance
The Great Clearance or Great Evacuation was ordered in southern China by imperial edicts of the Qing Emperor Kangxi , then under the regency of Oboi, in 1661 and 1662. It required the evacuation of the coastal areas of Guangdong in order to fight the anti-Qing movement, begun by Ming Dynasty...

 imposed by the Manchu Emperor Kangxi
Kangxi Emperor
The Kangxi Emperor ; Manchu: elhe taifin hūwangdi ; Mongolian: Энх-Амгалан хаан, 4 May 1654 –20 December 1722) was the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, the first to be born on Chinese soil south of the Pass and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1661 to 1722.Kangxi's...

 of the Qing Dynasty was rescinded, many Hakka
Hakka
The Hakka , sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese who speak the Hakka language and have links to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China....

s settled in this area, growing rice, tea and pineapples. In the early 20th century, there were seven villages in the area.

In 1933 the Shing Mun Reservoir was built to meet the increasing demand for fresh water due to the urbanisation of Kowloon
Kowloon
Kowloon is an urban area in Hong Kong comprising the Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. It is bordered by the Lei Yue Mun strait in the east, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Stonecutter's Island in the west, Tate's Cairn and Lion Rock in the north, and Victoria Harbour in the south. It had a population of...

. The reservoir was completed in 1936. It was once named Jubilee Reservoir (銀禧水塘) to celebrate Silver Jubilee
Silver Jubilee
A Silver Jubilee is a celebration held to mark a 25th anniversary. The anniversary celebrations can be of a wedding anniversary, ruling anniversary or anything that has completed a 25 year mark...

 (1935) of King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

.

The local inhabitants were resettled in other parts of the New Territories, and now some of the old villages are 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
Gin Drinkers Line
The Gin Drinkers Line or Gin Drinker's Line was a British military defensive line against the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong during the Battle of Hong Kong in December 1941, part of the Pacific War....

 on the nearby hills show the defences of British force against Japanese invasion
Battle of Hong Kong
The Battle of Hong Kong took place during the Pacific campaign of World War II. It began on 8 December 1941 and ended on 25 December 1941 with Hong Kong, then a Crown colony, surrendering to the Empire of Japan.-Background:...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

It is possible to see many troops of macaque
Macaque
The macaques constitute a genus of Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. - Description :Aside from humans , the macaques are the most widespread primate genus, ranging from Japan to Afghanistan and, in the case of the barbary macaque, to North Africa...

 monkeys around the picnic sites and in the woodland areas. To preserve the natural environment of the reservoir, its surrounding area is managed under Shing Mun Country Park
Shing Mun Country Park
The Shing Mun Country Park is a country park of Hong Kong, hugging the Shing Mun Reservoir.-Location:Located in the central New Territories, it covers a total of 14 km²...

. Two walking trails, Wilson Trail
Wilson Trail
The Wilson Trail is a 78 km long-distance footpath in Hong Kong, only 15 km run through non-park countryside or other areas. It was named after David Wilson, Baron Wilson of Tillyorn, who was Governor of Hong Kong from 1987 to 1992. The Wilson Trail was developed by Friends of the...

 and MacLehose Trail
MacLehose Trail
The MacLehose Trail , opened on 26 October 1979, is a hiking trail that crosses much of the New Territories, starting from Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung, in the east to Tuen Mun in the west in the territory of Hong Kong. The whole trail is 100 kilometres long, marked by distance posts at 500m intervals...

, cross at the side of the reservoir.

Monument Declaration



A total of 41 pre-World War II waterworks structures located in six reservoir areas, namely Pok Fu Lam Reservoir
Pok Fu Lam Reservoir
Pok Fu Lam Reservoir is the first reservoir in Hong Kong. It is located in a valley in Pok Fu Lam. It is actually two reservoirs with capacity of 260 km³.-History:...

, Tai Tam Group of Reservoirs, Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, Kowloon Reservoir, Shing Mun (Jubilee) Reservoir and Aberdeen Reservoir, were declared as monuments
Declared monuments of Hong Kong
Declared monuments of Hong Kong are places, structures or buildings legally declared to be "protected". In Hong Kong, declaring a monument requires consulting the Antiquities Advisory Board, the approval of the Chief Executive as well as the publication of the notice in government gazette.As of 12...

 in September 2009. The Memorial Stone of Shing Mun Reservoir was declared as one of the monuments.

See also

  • Lower Shing Mun Reservoir
    Lower Shing Mun Reservoir
    Lower Shing Mun Reservoir is a reservoir outside Shing Mun Country Park and the downstream of the dam of the Shing Mun Reservoir in Sha Tin District. Two vehicular bridges span over the valley between the Shing Mun Reservoir and the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir...

  • Hong Kong Country Parks & Special Areas
  • List of Grade I historic buildings in Hong Kong#Shatin District