Military barracks at Fort Canning

Originally called ‘Bukit Larangan’ (meaning ‘forbidden hill’) by the Malays due to the belief that it was once a royal burial site for the kings of old, Fort Canning Hill was first used by the British as the site for the Government House in 1822. It was thus referred to as Government Hill until 1861 when a fort was completed on the hill and named after Viscount Charles John Canning, the Governor-General and First Viceroy of India. The European artillerymen, originally stationed at Pearl’s Hill, then moved to the military quarters at Fort Canning. Various buildings were constructed on the hill for the garrison stationed there, including a hospital. The fort was eventually demolished in 1907, with only the archway entrance still standing today. The hill was also where the first Botanic Gardens was established between 1822 to 1829 under Dr Nathaniel Wallich, although no trace of it remains today.