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Leung Ancestral Hall in Pat Heung gazetted as historical building (with photos)

    A notice was gazetted today (November 17) to announce that the Leung Ancestral Hall at Yuen Kong Tsuen, Pat Heung, Yuen Long will be a declared a historical building under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Chapter 53) with effect from January 12, 2007.

     Built by the Leung clan in Yuen Kong Tsuen, Pat Heung, the Leung Ancestral Hall has a history of about 200 years. The Leungs came originally from Dongguan, Guangdong Province. Led by Leung Kwok Chor, the 12th generation ancestor, the Leung clan migrated to the New Territories during the 17th and 18th Century. His son, Leung Tai Shing, finally settled in Pat Heung, Yuen Long and established Yuen Kong Tsuen there. Leung Ancestral Hall is now owned by Leung Tai Shing Tso (a clan trust). Later on, the Leung descendants branched out to Wang Chau in Ping Shan, Tai Tong Tsuen in Shap Pat Heung and Shun Fung Wai in Tuen Mun.

     Yuen Kong Tsuen was so named because of its topography. According to local villagers, originally there was a round mound at the back of Yuen Kong Rural Committee Office. The village was subsequently known as Yuen Kong, which literally means a round mound. With the expansion of the village, the mound was levelled to make way for the present playground and the village was later renamed as the present Yuen (a different Chinese character, which is pronounced the same way but does not mean "round") Kong Tsuen.

     Due to rural development in recent years, many old houses in Yuen Kong Tsuen have either been rebuilt or demolished. The Leung Ancestral Hall is among the few historical buildings remaining there. Today, the Leung Ancestral Hall is still used to hold traditional ceremonies, such as ancestral worship, lantern ceremony and Autumn ancestral worship, and as a meeting place for clansmen.

     The Leung Ancestral Hall is a typical Qing vernacular building with two-hall-one-courtyard. Side chambers are located at both sides of the courtyard. The right chamber houses a kitchen, which was once used for cooking meals during festive events.

     The building is characterised by its solemn facade constructed of granite block base and brick wall, completed with finely carved fascia board and traditional Chinese murals on top. The stone lintel above the main entrance is engraved with the name of the ancestral hall. The roof ridges are decorated with plastered motifs of auspicious animals and patterns like dragon fish, peony, plums and lotus, and its gables walls are adorned with delicate leaf-patterned mouldings.

     The wooden altar housing the ancestral tablets is in the main bay of the rear hall. The altar is rich with colour and carved with a mixture of stylised plants such as plums, bamboo, peony, peach and lotus, which represent different seasons to signify the flourishing growth of descendants.

     With the completion of full restoration this year, the Leung Ancestral Hall is now restored to its original splendor. Social functions such as ancestral worship are being held there. To help the public to learn about the local history and cultural heritage of the area, the Antiquities and Monuments Office is arranging to open the Leung Ancestral Hall for public viewing. Details of the opening will be announced in due course.

Ends/Friday, November 17, 2006
Issued at HKT 16:00


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