Keppel Hill Reservoir ( The Lost Reservoir )

On September 2014, the National Heritage Board (NHB) announced they discovered an abandoned and forgotten reservoir nestled at the slopes of Mount Faber or Keppel Hill. It was reported that this body of water started operating as far back as 1905 and served the water needs of the Singapore Harbour / Tanjong Pagar Docks nearby. It continued to be a reservoir and articles dating to 1948 called it the Keppel Hill Reservoir. Subsequently, it became a place for swimming and at one point, it was a private swimming pool. 

When i visited there, i saw a diesel pump with pipes leading to the reservoir, probably drawing fresh water from there a well as broken pots. It could be from the landscaping company nearby (Joaquim Garden and Landscape). Prior to this there was a video clip by Straits Times Razor TV, where the Goh brothers, Raymond and Charles brought a video journalist here and they were conducting tours here even before September 2014. So, this body of water was not really forgotten as reported. The supposedly re-discovery of the Keppel Hill Reservoir nevertheless brought interest to a broader audience and with that allowed many heritage enthusiast such as myself to pay a visit ! I didn't follow a guided tour, but went there on my own.  

Getting There 
Nearest MRT: Harbour Front 
Take the Harbour Front Bus Interchange exit and walk towards bus stop number 14139.

Public Transport: Bus Stop Number : 14139 - Before Seah Im Road. 
From the bus stop, walk towards Wishart Road. At the junction, you should see a sign that leads to Joaquim Garden & Landscape (Keppel Hill Road). Walk along this path that leads towards Keppel House No 11. Just before this, you should see a road sloping downwards on your left to a wooded area. From here, there are only man made jungle trail that leads to the reservoir. Tread carefully especially after a rainy day, but it should not be hard to find, if you look for the key markers including a concrete column over a drain. Swing right and you see the reservoir.  
[September 2020 Update: The Joacquim Garden & Landscape is no longer in business there]

Route to the Keppel Hill Reservoir / Lost Reservoir
Route to the Keppel Hill Reservoir / Lost Reservoir hand drawn using OneMap 

Below is a 1954 which clearly shows the reservoir in relation to No 11 Keppel House. But there is no longer any label that indicates it was a reservoir. 

Location of the Keppel Hill Reservoir and No 11 Keppel House
source: Map of Singapore City, 1954. Survey Department of the Federation of Malaya

Keppel Hill Reservoir
Keppel Hill Reservoir 

Keppel Hill Reservoir
Keppel Hill Reservoir 

Keppel Hill Reservoir
hole slates for excess water to flow out from reservoir  

Keppel Hill Reservoir
Spot the toad 

Keppel Hill Reservoir
View of the reservoir from concrete steps 

Keppel Hill Reservoir / Lost Reservoir
Rusted hinges of a diving spring board 

Keppel Hill Reservoir / Lost Reservoir
Danger No Swimming No Fishing 

House No. 11 Keppel Hill House
House No. 11 Keppel Hill House 

Drowning in Keppel Hill Reservoir 
In March 26, 1948, a 17 year old boy by the name of Chew Teik Pin drowned while swimming at the reservoir.

Related Article
For the brave and the bold, there is a Japanese Memorial Tomb up the slopes of where the Keppel Hill Reservoir is. It is a steep slope climb to get there. (not advisable on a wet day as the slopes can be muddy). Read about it here > Japanese Memorial Tomb (Near Mount Faber), posted on May 5, 2016.

[September 2020 Update]
To get to the Japanese Memorial Tomb from the Reservoir is a simple affair now as the path is well marked by trackers. If you are coming from the reservoir, you will make up the steps from the reservoir until you see the below fence, 
Make a right after the fallen fence 

Follow the white tape

The brick stair case telling you are almost there 

Read about it here > Japanese Memorial Tomb (Near Mount Faber), posted on May 5, 2016.

Youth Drown in Reservoir. (1948, April 4). The Straits Times
"Lost" reservoir historically significant: NHB. [website]. AsiaOne.
Abandoned Reservoir off Telok Blangah. [website] Straits Times

New Singapore Street Map (c.1932-1935) Nanyodo, Tokyo, Japan



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