Grange Road

Grange Road runs from the junction of Cairnhill Road and Orchard Road to the junction of Napier Road and Tanglin Road. Constructed in 1866, the road was named after Grange House in Thomas Oxley’s estate.1

In 1846, Thomas Oxley (Dr) purchased a piece of land from the government that is bounded by what is presently River Valley Road, Tank Road, Grange Road and Orchard Road. The land, essentially a jungle then, held little value. Oxley developed it into a nutmeg plantation and the place came to be known as Oxley’s estate. An adjoining portion of the estate, also a nutmeg plantation, belonged to W.W. Willans while another portion belonged to G.G. Nicoll. A road was constructed in 1866 to serve as a private pathway leading to Oxley’s estate. This road was named Grange Road, after a large house in Oxley’s estate called Grange House. In the 19th century, a Teochew settlement or kampong (village) was also found off Grange Road. The road has been under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s conservation scheme since 1991 to preserve the antiquity of the area, where a pre-1868 Victorian building called Spring Grove is also located.2

The Orchard Fountain Corner is located at the junction of Grange Road and Orchard Road. Next to the Fountain Corner is a landmark commercial property, the Orchard Building, which is opposite the popular cinema, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard. The road is lined with residential units once it crosses India House, a 42,351 sq. ft. pre-1920s colonial building, home to the Indian High Commission.3 Admiralty House, built in 1972, housed the Raffles Institution from 1972 to 1990 until the school moved to its new premises in Bishan.4 A Muslim cemetery was built in 1840 at Bukit Wakoff in the vicinity of Grange Road, on land donated by Syed Ali bin Mohammed Al-Junied, the son of Syed Omar who was an established 19th century Arab merchant from Palembang.5

The Ministry of Education Teachers’ Network (Grange Road Centre), a sprawling campus constructed in 1997, is located at the junction of Hoot Kiam Road and Grange Road. Next to it is Spring Grove that served as the residence for U.S. ambassadors to Singapore from 1936 to 1941 and periodically from 1946 to 1991, when it was sold to a commercial property developer. Spring Grove was a two-storey Victorian bungalow built on a 263,400 sq. ft. piece of land before 1868, and was later integrated into a condominium development. The bungalow belonged to Hoo Ah Kay (Whampoa) in 1845 and later Hans Becker of Behn Meyer & Company in 1906.6 Grange Garden is a 45,509 sq. ft. residential development that comprises a group of four-storey maisonettes overlooking a garden. At the junction of Cuscaden Road and Grange Road are two distinctive buildings: the Traders Hotel (now rebranded as Hotel Jen), built in 1995, and Tanglin Mall, a 130,000 sq. ft. shopping centre which opened in 1994.7


Naidu Ratnala Thulaja

1. Victor R. Savage and Brenda S. A. Yeoh, Toponymics: A Study of Singapore Street Names (Singapore: Eastern Universities Press, 2003), 140. (Call no. RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
2. Savage and Yeoh, Study of Singapore Street Names, 140; Charles Burton Buckley, An Anecdotal History of Old Times in Singapore (Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1984), 405–6 (Call no. RSING 959.57 BUC-[HIS]); Peter K. G. Dunlop, Street Names of Singapore (Singapore: Who’s Who Publishing, 2000), 95, 233. (Call no. RSING 959.57 DUN-[HIS])
3. Narendra Aggarwal, “India Plans to Redevelop Three Large S'pore Freehold Properties,” Straits Times, 25 December 1995, 28. (From NewspaperSG)
4. “Nostalgia Time again for Former RI Boy,” Straits Times, 27 May 1990, 18 (From NewspaperSG); “Our History,” Raffles Institution, 2015; Adeline Chia, “Dream Park for Youth to Open in 2009,” Straits Times, 27 December 2006, H2. (From NewspaperSG)
5. Norman Edwards and Peter Keys, Singapore: A Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places (Singapore: Times Books International, 1988), 183, 186, 226, 227, 496. (Call no. RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA])
6. Savage and Yeoh, Study of Singapore Street Names, 140; “New Residence for US Ambassador,” Straits Times, 28 June 1994, 36; “Old Buildings Win Architect 2 Awards,” Straits Times, 9 July 1998, 2; Soh Wen Lin, “Shophouse-Style and Modern Living Come to Light @ Cairnhill,” Straits Times, 25 March 2003, 8. (From NewspaperSG)
7. Rav Dhaliwal, “New Hotel Meets Basic Needs of Business Clients,” Straits Times, 7 February 1995, 22; Cat Ong, “Tanglin Mall Set to Liven Up Quiet Part of Orchard Road Belt,” Straits Times, 2 January 1995, 4; “Kuoks to Open Shopping Mall in December,” Straits Times, 29 September 1994, 36 (From NewspaperSG); “Traders Hotel Singapore Rebrands to Hotel Jen Singapore; Global First by Shangri-La,” Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd, accessed 23 December 2015.  

Further resources
Adeline Chia, “Dream Park for Youth to Open in 2009,” Straits Times, 27 December 2006, H2. (From NewspaperSG)

Bigger, Better Somerset Skate Park Opens in Orchard,” National Youth Council, 15 August 2016.

Cassandra Chew, “Great Scape,” Straits Times, 28 August 2005, 36. (From NewspaperSG)


Cat Ong, “Tanglin Mall Set to Liven Up Quiet Part of Orchard Road Belt,” Straits Times, 2 January 1995, 4. (From NewspaperSG)

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Singapore,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accessed 15 August 2016.

Kuoks to Open Shopping Mall in December,” Straits Times, 29 September 1994, 36 (From NewspaperSG)

Leow Si Wan, “New Orchard Mall Targets Youth,” Straits Times, 21 September 2009, 22. (From NewspaperSG)

Nostalgia Time again for Former RI Boy,” Straits Times, 27 May 1990, 18 (From NewspaperSG)

Orchard Building,” Locanto, accessed 15 August 2016.

Orchard Fountain Corner,” Urban Redevelopment Authority, accessed 15 August 2016.

Our History,” Raffles Institution, 2015.

The Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA),” accessed 15 August 2016.

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.




Street names--Singapore
Streets and Places