Outram Road


Outram Road, part of the Outram Estate, begins at two places, one at the junction of Kim Seng Road and Havelock Road and the other at the junction of Havelock Road and Saiboo Street. It ends at the junction of Cantonment Road and New Bridge Road. Named after Sir James Outram in 1858, the road today is home to the Outram Park MRT station and Singapore General Hospital.

Outram Road, built in 1847, was then known as River Valley Road. It was also known as Cantonment Road and it stretched as a single road connecting to Keppel Road. In 1858 the road was separated from Cantonment Road and was named Outram Road in honour of Sir James Outram, for his heroic role in the 1857 Indian mutiny. Outram Road forms junctions with Tiong Bahru Road and Seng Poh Road. At the Outram flyover it is linked to the Central Expressway. The Outram Road Jail or the Pearl's Hill Prison, at the foot of Pearl's Hill which is now called Outram Park estate, was built in 1847. It was purchased by the HDB in 1966 for S$4.5 million and was demolished in 1968. The Outram Road School was first opened on 26 February 1906. Renamed Outram School in 1939, the school remained a primary school until 1954 when the school converted to a secondary school. Singapore General Hospital, located at the junction of Outram Road and New Bridge Road, was built in 1882. As Outram Road is situated near the Chinatown area, the road has many hotels in its vicinity.

Key Features
Hotel Novotel Apollo Singapore, built in 1972, Copthorne King's Hotel and Hotel Miramer are located at the junction of Havelock Road and Outram Road. Their main entrances face Havelock Road. Within the grounds of the Singapore General Hospital are located the Health Sciences Authority, Health Promotion Board, National Dental Centre, National Cancer Centre, National Heart Centre and Singapore National Eye Centre. The first HDB buildings with the typical shops below-flats above slab-blocks concept was built along this road by the Urban Renewal Department of HDB in 1969. The former Institute of Health building, built in 1958, is now a commercial property with 17,000 sq. ft of the area housing an advertisement agency. Other buildings along this road are the YMCA Outram Centre and the Outram Park Shopping Complex .

Variant Names
Chinese names:
(1) In Hokkien and Cantonese Si-pai po, which meant "sepoy plain" or "the sepoy's field", a reference to the Sepoy lines, Police station and parade ground at one end of the road.
(2) In Hokkien Si-kha teng, meaning "four-footed pavilion". This referred to the pavilion in the cemetery adjoining the road which was known by this name.

Naidu Ratnala Thulaja

Dunlop, P. K. G. (2000). Street names of Singapore (p. 232). Singapore: Who's Who Publications.
(Call no.: SING 959.57 DUN)

Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places (pp. 336, 338, 339, 340, 341). Singapore: Times Books International.
(Call no.: RSING 915.957 EDW)

Haughton H. T. (1973). Native names of streets in Singapore. In M. Sheppard (Ed.), Singapore 150 years (p. 215). Singapore: Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN)

Samuel, D. (1991). Singapore's heritage: Through places of historical interest (p. 269). Singapore: Elixir Consultancy Service.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 SAM) 

Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2003). Toponymics: A study of Singapore street names (p. 287). Singapore: Eastern Universities Press.
(Call no.: 915.9570014 SAV)

Tyers, R. (1993). Ray Tyers' Singapore: Then and now (pp. 143, 191). Singapore: Landmark Books Pte Ltd.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE)

Survey Department. (1961). Singapore: Guide and street directory (p. 119). Singapore: Survey Department.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 SSD)

Firmstone, H. W. (1905, January). Chinese names of streets and places in Singapore and the Malay Peninsula. Straits Branch Royal Asiatic Society Journal, 4, 118-119.
(Call no.: R 959.5 JMBRAS)

Sim, A. (2002, February 23). Retro gets a brand new look. The Straits Times, Life!

Outram Secondary School. (1998-1999). Our school's history. Retrieved March 28, 2004, from schools.moe.edu.sg/OSS/history.htm

The information in this article is valid as at 2003 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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