Murray House: The Oldest Victorian-Era Building In Hong Kong

October 6, 2022

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I went for a walk last Sunday in the town of Stanley somewhere on Hong Kong Island. It was my first time visiting the town, and I was truly amazed by the number of tourist attractions in the area. The place is beautiful, and local and foreign tourists were swarming around.

Among all attractions in the town, The Murray House caught my attention and interest. By the look of it, you could tell that it isn't Chinese architecture, and it seemed been staying in the place for long years. It has been one of the iconic buildings and says to be one of the oldest Victorian-era buildings in Hong Kong.


It is situated in the heart of Stanley Town near the pier. At first look at it, I thought it was an old museum, but as I stepped into it, I only found shops and restaurants. However, in its history, the building once housed a maritime museum, which has been moved to the capital city of HK, Central.


The house is the most visited attraction in the town as its tall structure and classical architecture truly catch the attention of anyone visiting the town. It has stone walls with openings on the ground floor and verandas on all corners of the upper floors.


Apart from its architecture, the stories written in its history are also interesting.

Built in 1846, the house served as the barracks during the early British colonial era named after the Master General, Sir George Murray, and designed by royal engineers.


The Japanese also occupied the house and it served as the place of execution for some Chinese people on death row. After World War II, the house was used by the government and was occupied by some government offices. Folks later claimed that it was a haunted house. Probably since it was an execution place in the past. Granted by the government, it was exorcised two separate times, in 1963 and 1974.

Source from Wikipedia

Its checkerboard floor tiles are another attraction. As you walk through the dark hallway, you could feel the eerie atmosphere. It may be occupied, but at some point, it looks quiet and empty. Some feelings that seemed to be associated with its history; odd and indescribable.


Now, the building housed some shops and restaurants. This has also been a great spot for some prenuptial and wedding photoshoots, and a place for different gatherings during special events and occasions.


Meanwhile, the verandas on different sides offer a great panoramic view of the town's promenade and the sea. From afar, you could see different boats sailing on the vast sea, and several tourists windsurfing on the water.


The first half of the house is occupied by H&M stores, on both the first and second floors.


Meanwhile, on the other half of the first floor is Ocean Rock Seafood and Tapas restaurant which serves seafood and Western cuisines. There are a lot of restaurants in the town, but I guess the ones in this house are the most visited.

Going up to the upper floor, the ceiling and opening seems like a big arch of a boat.


The restaurant on the top is the Octoberfest Buffet of King Ludwig. This restaurant serves a buffet of German cuisine and other delicacies. You could feel a German ambiance through its interior designs and foods. Customers could enjoy a feast with the buffet sets of food of their selections with a scenic view of the waterfront and sea on the verandas.


More spots are perfect for photoshoots.


I saw this Autumn Pets Popup on the left part of the ground floor. It's a bazaar selling pets clothes, accessories, novelties, crafts, and others. Pets, were, of course, free to enter the room. I guess there's also a pet workshop inside if I'm not mistaken.


It was worth visiting this house as I was able to explore the place, captured beautiful spots, and learned something interesting about its history.


If you wish to visit Hong Kong someday, make sure to add Stanley Town to your itinerary. There are beaches too in different parts of the town where you could do windsurfing, boat paddling, diving, and more. The market and other attractions are worth visiting too.



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