York Road, George Town, Penang

York Road, George Town

York Road, within the western part of George Town proper, is a two-way road along the southern side of Seri Mutiara, the Governor of Penang's official residence. It runs from west to east, between the junction with Scotland Road and Jalan Batu Gantung to the west and Air Itam Road to the east.

York Road sign, George Town, Penang

A York Road sign

The road has been in existence since the early 1800s. It was originally named St. Andrews Road. While ethnic Indians have been living and running laundry businesses for centuries at Dhoby Ghaut around the eastern end of the road, the western end has only recently become a leafy, upmarket residential area.


The road was initially named St. Andrews Road after the Andrew the Apostle in Christian folklore and the patron of Scotland.

In the early 20th. century, it was renamed York Road after the city of York in northeastern England.


St. Andrews Road was created as early as the early 1800s. Indeed, the eastern end of the road, at the junction with Air Itam Road, has been settled by ethnic Indians since George Town's early years. They established laundry businesses along Air Itam River and Sungai Air Terjun which flow through the area. These laundry businesses, owned by ethnic Indians, later gave this particular locality its name - Dhoby Ghaut.

Also, in the mid-19th. century, a mosque was built at St. Andrews Road to serve the Muslim community within its vicinity.

Seri Mutiara rear entrance, York Road, George Town, Penang

Rear entrance of Seri Mutiara, the official residence of the Governor of Penang (Yang di-Pertuan Negeri Pulau Pinang in Malay).

Towards the end of the 19th. century, British administrators and Army officers began to move important facilities into the area north of St. Andrews Road. The Residence (now Seri Mutiara), the official residence of the Governor of Penang, was completed in 1890 and in the 1900s, St. Andrews Road was renamed York Road.

Meanwhile, the western end of York Road, at the junction with Scotland Road and Jalan Batu Gantung, remained part of the rural Batu Gantung agricultural area until the 1960s, when the first bungalows were built around the area. Today, the western end of York Road, including Union High School, is a leafy, upmarket residential area.

Notable Landmarks

Seri Mutiara

  • Penang State Secretary Residence


  • York Road Mosque
  • Hong Chuan Buddhist Institute
Union High School, George Town, Penang

Union High School (left), as seen from adjoining Scotland Road


Union High School is a Chinese secondary school for girls. It was founded in 1928.

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.29 Dato Keramat State Assemblyman : Jagdeep Singh Deo (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.050 Jelutong Member of Parliament : Ooi Chuan Aun (Democratic Action Party)


  1. Khoo S.N., 2007. Streets of George Town, Penang. Areca Books.

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