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Dock Walls of Roath Basin, including Sea Walls and Sea Lock, Walls of Locks, and Dry Docks

A Grade II Listed Building in Butetown, Cardiff

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4632 / 51°27'47"N

Longitude: -3.16 / 3°9'36"W

OS Eastings: 319509

OS Northings: 174443

OS Grid: ST195744

Mapcode National: GBR KNT.DF

Mapcode Global: VH6FF.5HS4

Entry Name: Dock Walls of Roath Basin, including Sea Walls and Sea Lock, Walls of Locks, and Dry Docks

Listing Date: 20 August 1992

Last Amended: 21 August 1998

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 14062

Building Class: Maritime

County: Cardiff

Community: Butetown

Community: Butetown

Locality: Inner Harbour Area

Built-Up Area: Cardiff

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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History

Roath Basin begun 1868, opened July 1874. Former Junction Lock (which connected Roath Basin with former Bute East Dock) and Commercial Dry Dock contemporary with Roath Basin. Lock between Roath Basin and Roath Dock dates from building of Roath Dock (begun after 1882). Bute Dry Dock added to S corner of basin between 1880 and 1900.

Exterior

SEA WALLS: In massive grey-brown stone blocks, snecked; massive jointed brown masonry with granite copings. Depth scales in Roman numerals cut into wall at lock entrance. Areas to L and R of central approach where walls protected by adjoining sloping walls have smaller blocks.

SEA LOCK: Approx 152 metres long and 25 metres wide. Finely jointed brown masonry with granite copings c. one metre deep. Copings have squat iron bollards c. 50 cm wide and 15 cm high. Walls have rebates for lock doors at each end of lock, and smaller rebates for ladders, pipes etc. At each end of lock, brown stone flooring with pits for machinery covered with iron plates. Powered cast-iron capstan at each side of sea entrance and also each side of entry to basin proper. Each side of lock has row of bollards. (c. 60cm high) approx 6 metres back from lockside. At time of inspection, 6 bollards on NW side of lock and 5 on SE, in addition to squat bollards set into granite coping stones. The outer lock gates are hollow metal, plated and riveted, curved to rear, wooden walkway with post and chain railings. Gates opened towards basin (NE) into rebates in wall. Gates between lock and basin proper of the same pattern, and also opened into rebates towards basin. On the SE side of lock is stepped and ramped platform for demolished swing bridge.
ROATH BASIN WALLS: Approx 315 by 170 metres. Finely jointed masonry with granite copings c. one metre deep. Copings have squat iron bollards c. 50 cm wide and 15 cm high.

JUNCTION LOCK: Entrance approximately 18 metres wide and lock c. 35 metres across at widest point. Now truncated but current length approx 140 metres. Finely jointed brown masonry (but some pink stone particularly at N end). Granite copings c. one metre deep. Rebates for lock gates at S (Dock) and N ends. Depth scale in Roman numerals at lock entrance. Cast iron ex-powered capstans near entrance on E side of lock, and near N gate rebates on W side of dock. Spanned by modern bridge

COMMERCIAL DRY DOCK: Dry dock approx. 190 metres by 22 metres. Stepped stone walls to dry dock. Basin end of dry dock stepped up from dock level (steps to W) . Dock gate floating caisson type. Formerly powered capstan to W of dock entrance. Spanned by modern bridge.

LOCK BETWEEN BASIN AND ROATH DOCK: Approximately 240 metres long by 22 metres wide. Finely jointed brown masonry with granite copings c. one metre deep. Copings have squat iron bollards c. 50 cm wide and 15 cm high. Walls have rebates for lock doors at each end, and rebates for lost gates to W of current bridge. Smaller rebates for ladders, pipes etc. At each end of lock, brown stone flooring with iron-covered pits for machinery. Powered cast-iron capstan at each side of entrance to lock from basin and also each side of entry to Roath Dock. Each side of lock has row of bollards (c. 60 cm high) approx 6 metres back from lockside. At time of inspection, 11 bollards on NW side of lock and 11 on SE, in addition to squat bollards set into granite coping stones. The lock gates are hollow metal, plated and rivetted, curving to rear, grated metal walkways with post and chain railings. Gates opened towards Roath Dock (NE) into rebates in wall.
BUTE DRY DOCK: Dry dock approx 190 metres by 27 metres. Basin end of dry dock considerably higher than dry dock sides. Stepped snecked stone walls, steps c. 35m wide. Stairs built into walls at N end of dock and at curved S end. Rails for travelling cranes parallel to dock sides. Gate of the floating caisson type in welded steel.

Reasons for Listing

Included as major example of dock engineering of the period, with dock walls, sea lock, inner lock and dry docks illustrating functioning of port of Cardiff. Group value.

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