Clifford Pier

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Clifford Pier
Clifford Pier, Dec 05.JPG
Clifford Pier in December 2005
LocaleCollyer Quay, Singapore
OwnerMaritime and Port Authority of Singapore (former)
The Fullerton Heritage (restaurant)
Maintained byMaritime and Port Authority of Singapore (former)
ConstructionWoh Hup[1]
DesignerFrank Dorrington Ward, Public Works Department
Opening date3 June 1933
ListedOperation Ceased
Closure date1 April 2006
CoordinatesCoordinates: 1°17′02.10″N 103°51′12.85″E / 1.2839167°N 103.8535694°E / 1.2839167; 103.8535694

Clifford Pier was a former pier located beside Collyer Quay at Marina Bay within the Downtown Core of the Central Area, Singapore. The pier, which opened in 1933, ceased operations in 2006.

In 2008 the site was converted into a restaurant, One on the Bund, with Chinese cuisine. This restaurant closed in 2014 and was replaced by another restaurant, The Clifford Pier, which offers a selection of local, Asian, and Western dishes under the operations of the Fullerton Bay Hotel.[2]


Before the Tanjong Pagar wharves were built in the 1850s, Johnston's Pier was the chief landing place. By the 1930s, the pier was worn out and Governor of the Straits Settlements Sir Cecil Clementi decided to build a new pier.


Clifford Pier was built between 1927 and 1933, and was named after Sir Hugh Clifford, the former Governor of the Straits Settlements between 1927 and 1929. Its opening on 3 June 1933 was boycotted by merchants as they wanted the old name, Johnston's Pier, reinstated. The Scottish Alexander Laurie Johnston was one of the earliest distinguished European residents who was in Singapore at about the same time as Sir Stamford Raffles. A friend of the latter, Johnston was one of Singapore's first businessmen and the founder of the Chamber of Commerce. He was a popular and well-respected citizen whose business was directly connected in those days with imports and exports to and from Europe, ships' victualling and supplies. This meant that ships' captains called frequently on Johnston, who was well known for his kindness, wisdom and hospitality.

Johnston established his company on the site of Whiteaway's Building (now Malayan Bank Building) and in 1848 moved to the present Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank site. To facilitate the transportation of import and export goods from boats, a pier was built by the company and named after Johnston. Like its predecessor Johnston's Pier, the Hoklos (Hokkien) also called it ang theng beh thow(Chinese: 红灯码头), meaning "red lamp harbour", referring to a red oil lamp beacon which shone over the pier at night as a warning to ships.

Sir Hugh Clifford, on the other hand, although a highly regarded man, had no connection with the port of Singapore or its amenities other than the fact that he was the governor. His activities were largely occupied with his visits to the Malay states and in particular Pahang, the scene of much of his earlier service.

Clifford Pier was a landing point for immigrants and other sea passengers. The pier was later used as a terminal for tourists and day trippers who boarded small boats and ferries heading for the Southern Islands. During the annual pilgrimage season to Kusu Island, regular ferries departed from Clifford Pier to the island. Clifford Pier ceased operations on 1 April 2006, and was replaced by the Marina South Pier.


Clifford Pier, Singapore
Clifford Pier's roof structure

Clifford Pier was designed by the Public Works Department, where Frank Dorrington Ward was then the Chief Architect in the 1930s. The pier has a simple but unique architecture with a roof structure comprising concrete arched trusses in a riband form. Details, such as brackets and even the fire hose cabinets, were evidently designed with much consideration.

Marina South Pier[edit]

With the construction of the Marina Barrage, a dam across the Marina Channel which will convert the existing Marina Bay into a reservoir, the existing Clifford Pier has ceased operations on 1 April 2006. The Marina South Pier has been constructed at Marina South and was opened in April 2006 to replace the existing Clifford Pier. The existing 26,000 square metre Clifford Pier site including its adjacent former Customs Harbour Branch building has been safeguarded for conservation, and its surrounding land parcels are currently being developed into a retail, leisure, entertainment and hotel centre.


The facade of Clifford Pier, now part of the Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore

After 18 months of renovation costing S$6 million, the premises was leased to Calvin Yeung, a famed Hong Kong restaurateur,[3] his upscale Chinese restaurant One On The Bund was opened on the former pier in 11 December 2008. Yeung's restaurant was closed in early 2014 when its lease ended.[4]

The Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore

On May 2014, a new restaurant was reopened on the former pier under the same namesake The Clifford Pier, as part of the Fullerton Bay Hotel, offering a wide selection of local, Asian, and Western dishes.[5]

See also[edit]


  • National Heritage Board (2002), Singapore's 100 Historic Places, Archipelago Press, ISBN 981-4068-23-3
  • Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2003), Toponymics – A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 981-210-205-1
  • Norman Edwards, Peter Keys (1996), Singapore – A Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places, Times Books International, ISBN 9971-65-231-5
  • Lianhe Zaobao, Marina South New Clifford Pier to start operations in Apr 2006, 3 January 2006

External links[edit]