‘Little Hong Kong’
Comprising of a small depot headquarters, a guard house and 12 pairs of bunkers, the storage facilities were formed of one-meter thick walls some 20 meters below ground. It is testament to these fortress-like attributes and a highly secluded location that ‘Little Hong Kong’ famously became the last allied position in Hong Kong to surrender to the invading Japanese Army on 27 December, 1941.
Original structures remain
At the end of WWII, the site was returned to the British Military and thereafter the Hong Kong Police Force. Many of the structures were either damaged or lost after 1980, and the site gradually fell into disrepair during this period . Fortunately, not all the structures were affected. The site boundary can still be clearly identified, and four pairs of bunkers remain in their original condition, along with the guardhouse and sentry box. These remaining bunkers were used for Rock Core Storage by the Hong Kong Geotechnical Engineering Office from the mid-1990s until Crown Wine Cellars took over the custodianship of Little Hong Kong in 2003.
In June 2000, the Hong Kong Government approached the private sector with an initiative that would guarantee the survival of this and other historically significant military sites. It involved the preservation and restoration of the existing structures while permitting the introduction of a creative and sensitive business model for site usage that would offset the significant costs involved.
Together, Jim Thompson and Gregory De Eb conceived the most compelling vision for re-purposing this remarkable heritage site. By preserving, restoring and imaginatively adapting the site they created Crown Wine Cellars – a unique wine cellar operation and exclusive private member’s club which they opened to their members in 2004.
The realization of this extraordinary vision was very quickly recognized when, in 2007, they received a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation Award of Merit for the innovative and adaptive reuse of the site.
For further information, please contact CWC at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Crown Wine Cellars’ involvement with Little Hong Kong started as far back as 2001. Since then we have taken our custodianship of this wonderful facility very seriously. Aside from ensuring the safe preservation of the heritage structures and thereby receiving recognition from UNESCO in 2007, we have also contributed significantly to the profile of Hong Kong in the international wine industry.
Promises should extend beyond business and for this reason we are proud of our contribution to our community.
The site has a fascinating history bound up with that of the island itself, and its new role as home to the world’s finest wines ensures its prominence in the continuing story of Hong Kong. Your can read more about the site and its construction elsewhere on this website.