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Latitude: 53.5777 / 53°34'39"N
Longitude: -0.0735 / 0°4'24"W
OS Eastings: 527650
OS Northings: 410735
OS Grid: TA276107
Mapcode National: GBR WWX2.W7
Mapcode Global: WHHHS.VB5M
Plus Code: 9C5XHWHG+3J
Entry Name: Quayside Walls at Royal Dock
Listing Date: 30 June 1999
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1379867
English Heritage Legacy ID: 479302
Location: North East Lincolnshire, DN31
County: North East Lincolnshire
Electoral Ward/Division: East Marsh
Built-Up Area: Grimsby
Traditional County: Lincolnshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire
Church of England Parish: Great Grimsby St Andrew with St Luke and All Saints
Church of England Diocese: Lincoln
TA2710NE ROYAL DOCK, The Docks
699-1/7/126 Quayside walls at Royal Dock
Dock quayside retaining walls. 1849-52, by James Rendel,
engineer, with Adam Smith of Brigg as resident engineer, and
Hutchins, Brown and White, contractors, for the Grimsby Dock
Company. York stone ashlar walls on a brick substructure;
cast-iron mooring bollards.
The dock, covering about 20 acres, measures 2200 feet (670
metres) north to south and 500 feet (152 metres) east to west,
with a pair of locks (one now disused) at the seaward end,
flanking the jetty on which the Dock Tower stands (qv).
The dockside quays were built using the same vaulted
construction system that John Rennie had devised and employed
for the first time in 1798-9 at Grimsby Haven Dock, and which
is still visible beside the disused Grimsby Haven Lock (qv).
Here it is on a much larger scale. Behind the 8-foot thick
stone quay walls of the Royal Dock are a series of
semicircular brick arched vaults spanning 33 feet (10 metres)
between brick piers on piled foundations, resembling a
concealed viaduct, with the vaults extending 72 feet (22
metres) back at right angles from the quayside. The quay wall,
32 feet (9.75 metres) high, is pierced by smaller round-headed
openings below water level in order to equalise water pressure
between the dock and the vaults behind.
HISTORY: the dock was located wholly outside the original
Humber Bank, projecting out into the deeper water of the
estuary so that it could take the largest ships of its period.
It was built inside a massive cofferdam about a mile long,
extending half a mile into the Humber and enclosing 138 acres.
Its opening in May 1852 by Prince Albert, marked by a banquet
in one of the lock pits, is commemorated by the Albert Statue
in front of the Dock Offices at the southern end of the Royal
The Royal Dock, with its accompanying entrance locks and Dock
Tower (qv) represents a major example of a comprehensive
Victorian engineering project, and is especially notable for
its quayside construction and innovative hydraulic technology.
This dock and the surviving section of the nearby Grimsby
Haven Dock incorporating the former entrance lock, built 50
years apart and both using the same vaulted construction
system originally devised by John Rennie for use at Grimsby,
form an interesting comparison.
(Civil Engineering Heritage: Labrum EA: Eastern and Central
England: London: 1994-: 52-4; A guide to the Industrial
Archaeology of Lincolnshire & S.Humbs: Wright NR: Lincoln:
1983-: 16-18; University of Hull Publications: Gillett E: A
History of Grimsby: London: 1970-: 214-5; The Buildings of
England: Pevsner N, Harris J, and Antram N: Lincolnshire:
London: 1989-: 343; Ambler RW: Great Grimsby Fishing Heritage:
a brief for a trail: Grimsby Borough Council: 1990-: 17-18,
Listing NGR: TA2765010735
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