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KUK PO VISION

Hakka Villages in Sha Tau Kok

谷埔願景—沙頭角客家村

​​Introduction

 

Conservation and Revitalization Strategies 

on Architecture and Landscape of Hakka Village Spaces in Sha Tau Kok

Sha Tau Kok sits at the river mouth of the Starling Inlet, the northeast corner of Hong Kong’s New Territories. Flanked by mountain ranges in both north and south sides of the Inlet running east-west, a series of valley plains array along the coastal lines, providing fertile land for the development of agricultural settlements.

The history of settlements in Sha Tau Kok dates back to the late 17th century after the Great Clearance when Hakka immigrants from Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Fujian Province settled in Sha Tau Kok, Tai Po. Within the jurisdiction of Xinan County under Guangdong, as villages and populations increased during the late-Qing Dynasty, local Hakka villages in the New Territories set up a variety of Village Alliances to defend against pirates and establish market networks. Parallel to several other well-known Alliances in the region, the "Alliance of Ten" in Sha Tau Kok was established at that time, building up a social network for villages around the Starling Inlet. With the market town, temples and schools, Sha Tau Kok town has since become the economic and cultural centre of the region.

 

According to an 1898's report, the population of Sha Tau Kok had reached 8,600 at that time with 55 villages total of predominately Hakka communities

保育與活化:沙頭角客家聚落空間環境的建築與地景研究

       谷埔所在的沙頭角位於香港新界東北的船灣西北面,也是大鵬灣西的內海進口。區內狹長的內海南北多山,山麓兩側沿海多谷地平原,船灣東面則為岩岸與吉澳等離島。沙頭角在清代隸屬廣州新安縣,相傳大臣到訪嶺南沿海,題詩“日出沙頭,月懸海角”,為“沙頭角”得名一說。清末以來,沙頭角地區居民包括廣府、客家、閩南以及蜑民等不同社群,以客家人族群為主。十七世紀末康熙年間在復界墾荒的政策下,大批客家移民從江西、福建、廣東惠州及潮汕等地遷入新界。沙頭角地區的新移民,在谷地平原開墾林地種植水稻,並利用水塘與潮汐發展養殖。十九世紀初,附近的村落在沙頭角河入海口共同創立了沙頭角東和墟,並先後興建東和學校與文武二帝廟。墟市與廟宇除了舉行春秋二祭,更協調地方的公秤、更練、教育、衛生等公共事務,沙頭角成為新安縣東面的一個地區政治經濟與文化中心。在1898年港英政府的一份調查報告中 ,沙頭角人口已經達到8600人,55個村有54個屬於客家村落。
       道光年間,隨著村落人口的增加,為處理日益複雜的宗族與經濟利益,沙頭角的客家村之間訂立了眾多的鄉約,為了進一步擴張勢力,又成立了鄉約聯盟。鄉約既是小宗小村自保的依靠,又是村落管理議事的保障,也承擔祭祀、防禦及墟市相關功能。新界在清末時除了有沙田九約、大埔七約等鄉約,沙頭角附近大小十個鄉村聯盟組成的“沙頭角十約”也是其中重要的一環。當今沙頭角十約的聯繫,僅有荔枝窩的慶春約,和南涌鹿頸的南鹿約仍然活躍,保留著十年一屆的太平清酬活動。到了清末,谷埔的人口超過五百,已經發展成沙頭角人丁興旺並具影響力的大村。不僅有通往對岸東和墟的碼頭,還有自己的學校,成為相對自主於沙頭角十約之外的村落。