Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,405 pages of information and 233,863 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Canning Dock, Liverpool

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Part of Liverpool Docks

The dock was opened in 1737 as the Dry Dock, a protected tidal basin providing an entrance to Old Dock. Having been subsequently enclosed as a wet dock three years earlier, in 1832 it was officially named after the Liverpool MP George Canning. To the east is the site of Old Dock, built in 1709, which was the world first enclosed commercial dock. Canning Dock would have initially served ships involved in the trans Atlantic slave trade.

Access to the northern half of the dock system was via Georges Dock, George's Basin and into Prince's Dock. In 1899, both Georges Basin and George's Dock were filled in and the site is now the Pier Head.

Along with the Albert Dock and others in the immediate vicinity, Canning Dock was abandoned as a commercial shipping facility in 1972 due to the rising cost of dredging and falling numbers in traffic.

Adjoining the dock basin are two dry graving docks. The graving docks were built by Henry Berry between 1765-9, being lengthened and deepened by Jesse Hartley in the 1840s.

The dock was restored from 1983 and provides access to the Canning Graving Docks, which are part of the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

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