Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Albert Dock, Liverpool

The Albert Dock is a complex of dock buildings and warehouses in Liverpool, England. Designed by Jesse Hartley and Philip Hardwick, it was opened in 1846, and was the first structure in Britain to be built from cast iron, brick and stone, with no structural wood. As a result, it was the first non-combustible warehouse system in the world.

 At the time of its construction the Albert Dock was considered a revolutionary docking system because ships were loaded and unloaded directly from/to the warehouses. Two years after it opened it was modified to feature the world's first hydraulic cranes.  Due to its open yet secure design, the Albert Dock became a popular store for valuable cargoes such as brandy, cotton, tea, silk, tobacco, ivory and sugar. However, despite the Albert Dock's advanced design, the rapid development of shipping technology meant that within 50 years, larger, more open docks were required, although it remained a valuable store for cargo.

The dock contains, of course, a 'yellow submarine'!

Water-based tours also include the unique Yellow Duckmarine sightseeing tour, which take visitors around many of Liverpool's leading landmarks - as well as some of the historic docks.

The old customs house.

The Anglican Cathedral as seen from the Dock.

Do not adjust your sets - this office block really is that odd shape.

On the left of this poicture can be seen the Liver (pronounced Lie-ver not Liver) Buildings with a Liver (also pronounced Lie-ver) Bird on top.

Someone is using a ladder up there - rather them than me.

In 1972 the dock was finally closed. Having lain derelict for nearly ten years, the redevelopment of the dock began in 1981, when the Merseyside Development Corporation was set up, with the Albert Dock being officially re-opened in 1988 as a tourist attraction.

Today the Albert Dock is a major tourist attraction in the city and the most visited multi-use attraction in the United Kingdom, outside of London. Entrance is free. It is a vital component of Liverpool's UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City and the docking complex and warehouses also comprise the largest single collection of Grade I listed buildings anywhere in the UK.

I think this tug-boat used to be captained by a friend of ours - in which case I've been on it when it was out at work in the Mersey.

The Albert Dock boasts a unique blend of culture, cuisine and shopping.

This is where Partner-who-drinks-tea and I had lunch.  They can't make particularly good chips but the rest of our meals were good and the pancake with honey and almond was absolutely scrumptious.


  1. A good wander round.
    I enjoyed the new buildings and Brocklebank. I used to hear her on the radio but have never seen her.

  2. My niece has started at Liverpool Uni this September, and so it is even more interesting to me to find out more about the place, thank you!
    I am wondering about the pillars at the front of Albert Dock. It being listed buildings, they are certainly conserved as historically accurate as possible; were the pillars really painted in such an odd colour in the days when they were built?

    1. Sorry Meike, I meant to answer this at the time. I don't know for certain but I assume the answer is that they were that colour originally. However, they weren't in my youth - but they were painted, they were painted grey.
      The same colour columns on the customs house were, so far as I can recall, painted a brick red when I was young.

  3. What a splendid blogpost and interesting tour of the old dock - thanks! And those yellow submarines add a real splash of colour to make one smile.

  4. I'm looking forward to seeing this again next year.

  5. How interesting. I've always wanted to see Liverpool. Now, will you please do a Beatles tour for us, you know, for all the Beatles fans, like me?
    And we have that same land/water craft on Stone Mountain lake, they call it "Ride The Ducks"!

  6. What a great tour! Another place I'd love to visit. Maybe on our next trip over we can talk my niece and her husband into coming with us. Ron loves ships and used to work on the St. Catherine's docks when they still loaded and unloaded ships there. As always, a most interesting and informative post. And I love the bit about lunch -- a good place to have lunch or tea is a must when our family tours! xoxo

    1. Well if you do come over we're going to have to treat you to lunch there!!!

  7. I'm sure I've said this before, but if not, I should have! My enjoyment knows no bounds as I travel the highways and byways with you and with your brother and with the Librarian. Your blogs and photographs are a joy to a homebody like me. Thank you.

  8. I enjoyed reading this post and making a mental note that it's time to pay a visit to the UK soon.
    The Yellow DuckMarine sightseeing tour will definitely be on my agenda...thanks CJ.

    1. If you do make it to the Albert Dock you must allow us to treat you to lunch,lease!


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