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Build and Design

The granite which lies at the heart of the build and design of Albert Dock was hewn from a quarry in Kirkcudbrightshire.

This granite was bought specially by the Dock Board for its new project. As many as twenty-three and a half million bricks and 47,000 tons of mortar were used in the building of the Dock.

Meanwhile, 13,729 piles of beech timber – which stretched 48 miles in length – were used for its foundations.

The west and north blocks of the new Dock were built on quicksand at the edge of the river Mersey.

Albert Dock created seven acres of enclosed water – a space the size of Trafalgar Square – while the surface area of the whole dock sits at 21,390 square yards. The statuesque cast iron columns are 15 feet high and 12.5 feet in circumference and remain an integral part of the Dock’s identity to this day.

Originally, there were four Piermasters’ houses, but only one – together with the original cooperage  – remains on the corner by the Tate Liverpool.

Unfortunately, the others were badly damaged during World War II air raids, which targeted the Mersey’s shipyards.

The Dock Traffic Office is distinctly different from the rest of its architecture. Built in 1848, it was designed by architect Philip Hardwick, creator of St. Katharine’s Dock in London. Presently, it is now home to the International Slavery Museum.

Jesse Hartley (original Chief Engineer of the port) later added to the building, which has been described by many as a ‘monument to cast iron architecture’.

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