Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Herculaneum Dock, Liverpool

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May 1929. Herculaneum Dock.

Part of Liverpool Docks

Herculaneum Dock was part of the Port of Liverpool. It was situated at the southern end of the Liverpool dock system, on the River Mersey. To the north it was connected to Harrington Dock. The dock was named after the Herculaneum Pottery Co that had occupied the site before.

From 1767, a tidal basin in the area that would become the dock was used for unloading copper for a smelting works.

Between 1794 and 1841 it was the site of a pottery.

In 1864, a new dock designed by George Fosbery Lyster was blasted from the foreshore, providing two graving docks and opened in 1866.

Ten years later, a third graving dock was added.

Beginning in 1873, the dock handled petroleum. In 1878, specialist casemates were built to store this and other volatile cargo within the sandstone cliffs above. The dock continued in this capacity until the task of oil handling was transferred across the river to Tranmere Oil Terminal and Stanlow Oil Refinery. During 1881 the dock facility was enlarged further and a fourth graving dock was constructed in 1902.

Liverpool remained an important port during the Second World War, with Herculaneum Dock acting as a terminus for the North Atlantic Convoys.

Herculaneum Dock was formerly served by its own station on the Liverpool Overhead Railway. The station (and railway) closed on 30 December 1956. By 1958 demolition of the station had been completed.[4]

In 1972, Herculaneum Dock closed and was filled in during the 1980s.

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