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Scott's Dry Dock with Outer Basin

A Category A Listed Building in Greenock, Inverclyde

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9445 / 55°56'40"N

Longitude: -4.7443 / 4°44'39"W

OS Eastings: 228716

OS Northings: 675785

OS Grid: NS287757

Mapcode National: GBR 0D.YG4Z

Mapcode Global: WH2MB.3V27

Entry Name: Scott's Dry Dock with Outer Basin

Listing Date: 18 July 2005

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398016

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50131

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Greenock

County: Inverclyde

Electoral Ward: Inverclyde Central

Traditional County: Renfrewshire

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Description

Early 19th century (see Notes), extended to S during 2nd half of 19th century. Oblong dry dock roughly 110m long and 20m wide, with semi-octagonal S end, stepped sides, later steel gates, and outer basin to N. Sandstone ashlar. 2 steeply sloped ramps on each side. Iron rings at regular intervals along cobbled quayside. Remains of cast-iron operating machinery including capstan with Stothert & Pitt of Bath maker's plate. Rectangular outer basin (partly filled in to E side) with roughly 20m entrance to Clyde.

Statement of Interest

Also known as the Submarine Dock. Situated in Cartsdyke, off Rue End Street, between Victorian Harbour and the T-Mobile office. It is believed to be the oldest surviving dry (or graving) dock in Scotland. There are 8 dry docks currently (2005) listed in Scotland, the oldest of which is the one in Troon, which was built in 1840s; all the others were built in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Built for Steele's shipyard, which occupied this site until it closed in 1883, at which point it was taken over by Scott's. James Steele was born in Ayr, and started his career building fishing vessels and coasters in Saltcoats. He later joined partnership with John Carswell, and the firm Steele and Carswell moved to Greenock in 1796. It is therefore possible (although unlikely) that the dry dock dates from this time. In 1816 the Steele and Carswell partnership was dissolved and Steele joined partnership with his sons, Robert and James. In the 1820s the firm began building steam ships, and it is likely that dry dock was built at about this time. The dry dock and outer basin are shown on John Wood's Town Plan of 1825; the 1838 town plan is more specific, marking the graving dock in 'Mr Steele's Ship Building Yard'. It is interesting to note that the Dry Dock in East India Harbour, which was completed in 1823, is marked as 'New Graving Dock' on the 1838 map, which perhaps suggests that Steele's dock was older.

The dock was extended between the publication of the 1st and 2nd edition OS maps, probably when the yard was purchased by Scott's.

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