Minden Road connects Harding Road and Napier Road.1 Once a nutmeg estate, Minden Road is now home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and St George’s Church,2 while several high commissions and embassies are also located in the vicinity.
Until 1860, Minden Road was part of what was known as Mount Harriet, a nutmeg estate. The nutmeg estate was owned by Colonial Treasurer William Willans and businessman Hoo Ah Kay (also known as Whampoa).3 The estate was purchased for 25,000 Spanish dollars by the British authorities in 1860 for military use, and henceforth Minden Road became part of the British Military Area (BMA) of Tanglin.4 BMA Tanglin included the areas around Holland Road, Napier Road, Cluny Road, Harding Road, Ridout Road, Ridley Park, Firestone Park and Tanglin Road.5 Tanglin Barracks was completed in 1862.6
From 1872 onwards, it housed its first full battalion, the 80th Regiment of Foot (Staffordshire Volunteers). It later served as the general headquarters of the British Far East Land Forces. Being a part of a BMA, residential quarters were also built to house British families.7
In post-independence Singapore, the area came to be more popularly known as Tanglin Camp and housed the Ministry of Defence until the latter moved to Bukit Gombak in 1989.8
Today, Minden Road is home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,9 which shifted into the main building of the 33-hectare Tanglin Camp in the late 1990s after redevelopment.10 St George’s Church, which began as a garrison church, is still located there.11 Tanglin Golf Course was also located on Minden Road before its closure in 2013.12 Some landmarks nearby include the Australian High Commission, British High Commission, Embassy of the United States of America, Gleneagles Hospital and the Singapore Botanic Gardens.13
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja
1. Norman Edwards and Peter Keys, Singapore: A Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places (Singapore: Times Books International, 1988), 498. (Call no. RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA])
2. Dhoraisingam S. Samuel, Singapore’s Heritage: Through Places of Historical Interest (Singapore: Dhoraisingam S Samuel, 2010), 281 (Call no. RSING 959.57 SAM-[HIS]); Julia Goh, “22 Monuments to Get Identifying Plaques from Today,” Straits Times, 27 November 1992, 33. (From NewspaperSG)
3. Victor R. Savage and Brenda S. A. Yeoh, Singapore Street Names: A Study of Toponymics (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2013), 257 (Call no. RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA]); Peter K. G. Dunlop, Street Names of Singapore (Singapore: Who’s Who Publishing, 2000), 23. (Call no. RSING 959.57 DUN-[HIS])
4. Edwin Lee, Historic Buildings of Singapore (Singapore: Preservation of Monuments Board, 1990), 16 (Call no. RSING 720.95957 LEE); Dunlop, Street Names of Singapore, 23.
5. Norman Edwards and Peter Keys, Singapore: A Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places (Singapore: Times Books International, 1988), 498 (Call no. RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA]); Dunlop, Street Names of Singapore, 23.
6. “Retrospect for 1861,” Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1835–1869), 7 February 1862, 1. (From NewspaperSG)
7. “History: Introduction, 1861,” Dempsey Hill, accessed 17 February 2017; Savage and Yeoh, Singapore Street Names, 257; Samuel, Singapore’s Heritage, 309.
8. Samuel, Singapore’s Heritage, 309; “From Colonial-Style Home in Tanglin to Ultra-Modern Complex in Bt Gombak,” Straits Times, 9 April 1989, 12. (From NewspaperSG)
9. “Foreign Ministry to Move to Mindef Site in Tanglin,” Straits Times, 25 February 1989, 23; “Tanglin Camp Being Redeveloped,” Straits Times, 3 January 1998, 36. (From NewspaperSG)
10. Samuel, Singapore’s Heritage, 309; “Tanglin Camp Being Redeveloped.”
11. Samuel, Singapore’s Heritage, 281, 308–9.
12. “Closure of Tanglin Golf Course,” My Golf Kaki, accessed 20 December 2016.
13. Edwards and Keys, Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places, 498; Dunlop, Street Names of Singapore, 23.
The information in this article is valid as of 2016 and correct as far as we are able to 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.
Streets and Places