Padang Kota Lama, or simply called The Padang, is the parade ground and playing field created by the British colonials in the civic district of George Town
Padang Kota Lama, or simply called The Padang, is the parade ground and playing field created by the British colonials in the civic district of George Town. It is bordered by Fort Cornwallis on one side, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, Jalan Padang Kota Lama and Light Street.
The name "The Esplanade" is usually used collectively to denote the whole area that includes Padang Kota Lama and Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, although historically The Esplanade refers only to Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, between the bend in the road (called Fort Point) and where the road ends, near the Cenotaph.
Padang Kota Lama is located in one of the oldest section of George Town and was among the earliest part of town to be cleared. When Francis Light landed at the cape in 1786, he found that this part of the island was uninhabited (there were small Malay and Acehnese riverine settlements along Sungai Pinang) and densely forested.
The land was flat but overgrown with hardwood trees such as the Penaga Laut (ironwood). The northern shore was sandy while the eastern shore was covered with mangrove swamp. Light was said to have blasted silver coins into the forest to induce the workers to clear the land.
These coins would have landed in the area where Padang Kota Lama is located today.
There were several structures on Padang Kota Lama that has since been destroyed or dismantled. The clubhouse buildings, the Penang Sports Club (Cricket Section) and the Penang Recreation Club were located on the Padang - an arrangement that is similar to what we can see in Singapore's Padang today.
Also located on Padang Kota Lama is the Vermont Memorial, a cost iron pavilion for the public, as well as the Municipal Band Stand, a pavilion for public entertainment and ceremonies. Most of these were destroyed during the Second World War and never rebuilt.
Jalan Tun Syed Barakbah
11200 Pinang George Town