Book Of Adventure 7: Pearl’s Hill City Park

Posted: May 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

Captain’s log                         Stardate: 63914.7 (May 30th, 2010)

I came to find out about this location from a blogger whose interest is to visit parks, and many other interesting places islandwide. Something like what I did, basically. Hee..=) Eventually, I become intrigued into it and began to open up my research portal.

The 9 ha park was built in 1974, around an old reservoir that rested on top of the hill, tucked away at a corner of Chinatown. It carries a unique history, that dates back to the era of Sir Stamford Raffles. The hill was named after Captain James Pearl, who owned and helmed the ship, Indiana that ferried Sir Stamford Raffles to Singapore in January 1819. In May 1822, Captain Pearl bought the hill from the island’s Temenggong, and had his house been built on top of the hill. Is the same year where Raffles had his house built on the top of Fort Canning.

But before doing so, Captain Pearl had the peak shaved off, as he had discovered it been too high. He had hired Chinese and Malay workmen to clear the slopes, and grew pepper vines for him. He named the hill, as Mount Stamford Hill after Sir Stamford Raffles. Some say, as a compliment. But however, the name was changed later to reflect his ownership. True, in a sense. Like Mount Faber, which was named after Captain Charles Edward Faber =)

Throughout the years, the hill has seen many occupants come and go. Interestingly, the first Tan Tock Seng Hospital was built there in 1844. After it relocated to Jalan Besar in 1857, the colonial government erected army barracks on the hill. Tasked with maintaining Singapore’s security, these soldiers from British India later set up one of Singapore’s earliest Sikh temples on the hill which has since been demolished. This also includes the Seaman’s Hospital and Pearl’s Hill Prison a.k.a Outram Prisons. Such a place, if you asked me!

It was soon discovered that the hill was higher and stood in the trajectory of the guns mounted at Fort Canning. To correct this, a military engineer simply cut off the top of Pearl’s Hill. Looks like another clumps of grass and root had been shaved off, clean from the head. But wouldn’t that be, drawing enemy fire from another obstacle?

The reservoir itself, formally known as “High Service Reservoir”, was built in 1898 and completed in 1904. It comes with a water storage capacity of 6 million gallons, and its still the main source of fresh water supply to Chinatown today.

There’s also a lotus pond there, as been describe and had few photos of it been posted by the blogger.

So yesterday, dated May 29, I began to set for my next adventure. Its a five-minute walk from Outram MRT station, and you have to climb up the hill to reach its peak.

So there I was, breathing in nature before taking the leap. There’s few paths leading to the park, spiral in and out, that I don’t even know where to start. Haha! =D But anyway, I shall start off along this historical trail.

The occasional joggers, couples, owners with their dogs, and cyclists inhabited this quiet park. It held much solitude, calm and peaceful to the mind. And how cooling the environment here was. With the trees provided you the shades along the way, that helps to cool you down from the blazing heat that was been scorching for a month!

Rested at the top of the hill, perimeter fences were erected to secure the reservoir premises. I’m amazed by how the reservoir were built. Those walls, by the look of it appearances, reminds me of those built for castles. They were like fortress! Other than that, it also looks more like one of those maximum security federal prison center =D

I took a break at a schedule resting corner next to its perimeter. At the same time, I jot down about my current adventure on my notebook, as draft. Hee..=)

Moments later, I resume my exploration. Snapping more photos along the way.

I soon came sighted of the lotus pond. According to the blogger, she stated that there were turtles swimming here when she visit the place. But I didn’t seem to find any. Perhaps they were been……removed?

The way I see it, the pond also makes an ideal place for you to sit cross-legged next to it if you wish to perform meditation =)

I spend another half an hour before calling it a day. Indeed, truly a memorable place to be, especially if you are planning for a nice picnic. There’s some open areas, that makes an ideal place for one. Other than that, you can just simply laze around and let your mind drift into a state of relaxation.


  1. Birthday sms says:

    really nice blog i like it

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