History of the Royal Albert Dock

The Royal Albert Dock is the cultural powerhouse spearheading the regeneration of Liverpool’s famous docklands and is at the centre of Liverpool World Heritage site Waterfront. Shopping, museums, art galleries, loft living, bar culture, eateries and top night spots make the Dock a place to enjoy life to the full.

The Royal Albert Dock is a truly stunning architectural triumph. Opened in 1846 it soon became a treasure house of precious cargoes from all over the world. Today’s development, costing in excess of £100 million, has transformed it into one of Liverpool’s busiest and most cosmopolitan centres and a top heritage attraction. The site is managed by Royal Albert Dock Liverpool Ltd and consists of the largest complex of Grade 1 listed buildings in the UK and has collected many prestigious national and international awards.

The Royal Albert Dock was the first enclosed, non-combustible dock warehouse system in the world and the first structure in the UK to be built entirely of cast iron, brick and stone. In 1848 the world’s first hydraulic warehouse hoists were installed. The Dock was built to accommodate sailing ships but by the turn of the 20th century only 7% of ships using the port were sailing ships.

The Dock’s fortunes waned after WWII, and it closed in 1972. In 1983 The Albert Dock Company Ltd and the Merseyside Development Corporation began to restore the site to its former glory, breathing new life into a rundown area. In 1988 the Albert Dock was officially re-opened by HRH Prince Charles.

A more detailed timeline can be found here