Thursday, 1 June 2017

disappearing world #4

I cycled through the village of Chow Tin almost every Sunday last winter, and on a couple of occasions I stopped to photograph architectural features that I noticed as I rode past. The first photo shows the ‘front’ of the village—all the houses face the same way, and it seems likely that there would once have been some kind of defensive wall here. The red arrow indicates the position of the gatehouse.

The next photograph shows a group of traditional buildings at the left-hand end of this frontage. The building on the right has been modernized, but the two in the centre have obviously been abandoned and are now derelict:

The building in the next photo has also been abandoned. Note that the moulding above the entrance is in poor condition, and, bearing in mind the much better condition of the mouldings above other doorways, I conjecture that whoever occupies these buildings at least attempts to preserve the mouldings on their building.

The gatehouse is featured in the next photo, while the following image provides a closer look at the frieze above the entrance.

Further along the village frontage, two more traditional houses have survived. There would once have been a small open-air courtyard behind the door of the house on the left, but I suspect that this has now been roofed in.

…and this is a close-up of the mouldings on the house on the left:

The next two old houses have also been modernized, with stainless steel outer doors that suggest the courtyards behind have also been roofed in.

…and these are close-ups of the mouldings above the doors:

Some time after I’d taken the above photographs, because I approach the village from the left as seen in the first photo above, I noticed several more traditional houses in the first alleyway running parallel to the frontage. The mouldings above the doors appear to be more elaborate than those at the front of the village and are featured here in the order I encountered them from left to right. The second photo is of a painted frieze between the first and second doorways.

There are other villages in the Ta Kwu Ling area that have interesting architectural features, but I won’t be able to report on them until next winter. However, I intend, in the next couple of weeks, to post an update to Disappearing World #3, having recently heard an interesting story about the origins of the building featured in that post.

other posts in this series
Disappearing World
Disappearing World #2
Disappearing World #3
Disappearing World #5


  1. The mouldings above the doors reflect the characters of individual households.

    1. An interesting theory. I wonder if you’re right.

  2. I would go crazy with my camera if were ever to see these places in person.
    All the little details (cultural ad otherwise). Nice post Dennis!

    1. You’ve just explained exactly how I feel when I pass through old villages like this one Pat.


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