Liverpool South Dock System

Introduction

Note: This page is arranged in order of docks from North to South. Not all docks in the system are represented in the collection.

I have been unable to locate a map showing the layout of the entire dock system, but I have included a diagram to show the connections between the various docks and the River Mersey at the maximum extent of the dock system. George's Dock and Basin are not shown as they filled in in 1899.

Liverpool South Docks
Diagram showing the inter-connections of the Liverpool South Docks system.

Chester and Ellesmere Basins

Chester Basin was situated between Pier Head and Manchester Dock and opened in 1795 as the Chester and Ellesmere Basin. It was used by canal boats and other small craft. It was filled in between 1928 and 1936.

Pier Head Chester and Ellesmere Basin
Aerial view showing the Chester and Ellesmere basins before they were filled in.

George's Dock

George's Dock was connected to Canning Dock to the South and George's Basin to the North and opened in 1771. In 1899, both George's Dock and George's Basin were filled in to create what is now Pier Head.

Georges Dock
Small craft in George's Dock. The date is not known.
Georges Dock
Various sailing vessels in George's Dock. The date is not known.
Georges Dock
Various sailing vessels in George's Dock. The date is not known.
Georges Dock
Various vessels in George's Dock. Believed to date from about 1900.

Liverpool Landing Stage

The Liverpool Landing Stage is clearly not a dock but nevertheless a key part of the overall scheme of the Liverpool Dock system and is built on the river alongside where the filled-in George's Dock once stood. The location is known as Pier Head (though properly George's Pier Head) and the area is a World Heritage Site. Many landing stages have stood on the site and the most recent was opened in 1890 and supported transatlantic crossings from Liverpool.

Liverpool Landing Stage
Landing Stage at Pier Head with view over Canning Dock - believed to be from about 1956
Liverpool Landing Stage
Landing Stage at Pier Head with view over Princes Dock - believed to be from about 1933
Liverpool Landing Stage
Landing Stage viewed from Pier Head - believed to be from about 1906
Liverpool Landing Stage
Pier Head viewed from the West - believed to be from about 1950. Rather clumsily coloured from a monochrome photo.
Liverpool Landing Stage
General view of the Pier Head area taken from the West - believed to be from about 1930.
Liverpool Landing Stage
Pier Head, Manchester Dock and the Canning Dock entrance - believed to be from about 1930.

Canning Dock

Canning Dock is connected to Salthouse Dock to the South and Canning Half-Tide Dock to the West. It opened originally as a protected tidal basin but was completed as a wet dock in 1829. Amongst other functions it served ships involved in the slave trade. It was last used for commercial shipping in 1972 but still provides access to the Canning Graving Docks.

Canning Dock.jpg
Canning Dock viewed from Georges Dock passageway - believed to date to about 1908.
Canning and Princes Docks
An aerial view showing Canning Dock, Princes Dock and landing stages and is believed to date to about 1965.
Canning Dock
Bannrose and Ulster Drover in Canning Dock - believed to date from around 1965.
Canning Dock
An aerial view of the entrance to Canning Dock and Pier Head - believed to date from around 1930.
Canning Dock
View of shipping in Canning Dock looking towards 'The three Graces' - believed to date from around 1960.
Canning Dock
'A busy corner of East Canning Dock' View similar to the previous image but believed to date from around 1908.
Canning Dock
Canning Dock on a quiet day. The vessel in the foreground is the fishing vessel Margaret Duncan LL123 and part of Liverpool's once substantial fishing fleet in the early 20th Century. She was built for J. Duncan, Sons & Co. and, apart from WW1 service, was with them until 1934 when she was sold to Grimsby owners and renamed Luda Lord. She remained in the Grimsby fleet until broken up at Gateshead in 1963. The photo is believed to date from about 1920
Canning Dock
Fishing trawlers in Canning Dock - date unknown. Dock Board offices in the background.

Canning Half-Tide Dock

Canning Half-Tide Dock lies between the Albert Dock and the Canning Graving Docks. It was opened in 1753.

Canning Half Tide Dock
The George's passageway looking South across Canning Dock - believed to date to about 1908.
Canning Half Tide Dock
A view across the entrance to the Canning Half-Tide Dock looking towards the Liver Buildings and is believed to date to about 1920. The building in the foreground with the flagpole in front is the 'Pilotage Building' and the small craft at the river wall is the Edward C. Wheeler steam pilot launch.

Albert Dock

The Albert Dock was opened in 1846 and was very advanced for its time. It had a complex of buildings and warehouses built from non-combustible materials and two years after it opened was fitted with the world's first hydraulic cranes. Its use as a dock declined and it finally closed in 1972 since when, after a long period of dereliction, it has become a major tourist attraction. It is connected to Canning Half-tide Dock to the North and Salthouse Dock to the East.

Albert to Gladstone Dock
Aerial view from Albert to Gladstone Dock believed to have been taken about 1920.
Albert and Salthouse Docks
Aerial view of Albert and Salthouse Docks from the south. Date unknown.
Albert Dock
Royal Navy ships in Albert Dock in 1950. It appears to be some kind of Open Day.
Albert Dock
An aerial view of Albert Dock looking Northwards. The date is not known.

Salthouse Dock

Salthouse Dock was opened in 1753. It is connected to Canning Dock to the North, Wapping Dock to the South and Albert Dock to the West. It was a transit point for the salt industry and exported salt produced in Cheshire.

Salthouse Dock
Sailing ships in Salthouse Dock - believed to date from about 1904.
Salthouse Dock
Salthouse Dock and the Custom House and is believed to date from about 1900.

King's Docks

King's No. 1 and King's No. 2 Docks were two branch docks connected to Wapping Dock to the North and Queen's Dock to the South. They were opened in 1785, closed in 1972 and both filled in since then.

King's Dock
King's Dock with grain elevator alongside a ship and cathedral in the background. Date unknown.

Brunswick Dock

Brunswick Dock is connected to Coburg Dock to the North and Toxteth Dock to the South. It was opened in 1832. Currently the HQ of the Royal Navy is on the dock.

Brunswick Dock
The grain silo in Brunswick Dock. The date is unknown.

Toxteth and Harrington Docks

Toxteth Dock connected to Brunswick Dock to the North and Harrington Dock to the South and was opened in 1841. It closed in 1972 and was filled in with many of the old dock buildings becoming part of Brunswick Business Park.

Harrington Dock was connected to Toxteth Dock to the North and Herculaneum Dock to the South and was opened in 1882. It closed in 1972 and has also been filled in with the buildings also becoming part of Brunswick Business Park.

Toxteth Harrington Docks
An aerial view of Toxteth Dock and Harrington Dock. The date is unknown.
Toxteth Dock
An aerial view of Toxteth Dock. The date is unknown. Apparently hand-coloured.

Herculaneum Dock

Herculaneum Dock was located at the far end of the South docks and was connected to Harrington Dock to the North and included two graving docks. It took its name from a pottery company that had previously occupied the site. The dock opened in 1866 and from 1873 was handling petroleum. It was enlarged over time and eventually had four graving docks. During WW2 Herculaneum Dock acted as a terminus for North Atlantic convoys. Herculaneum Dock was closed in 1972 and filled in during the 1980s; the south part of the site was reclaimed for the Liverpool Garden Festival. Much of the main dock area is now a car park and offices have been built where the graving docks were located.

Herculaneum Dock
The entrance to Herculaneum Dock and Harrington Dock. The date is not known.
Herculaneum Dock
An aerial view showing Herculaneum dry docks. The date is not known.
Herculaneum Dock
An aerial view showing Herculaneum and looking towards Pier Head. The date is not known.