Albert Dock – History
Albert Dock is a vision of the past with its focus
firmly on the future and is one of the earliest
surviving parts of the Liverpool dock system.
It was built to the design of engineer/architect
Jesse Hartley and was officially opened on 30
th July 1846 by Prince Albert.
Fronting onto Salthouse Quay and overlooking
the Albert Dock, Edward Pavilion forms one side
of the famous Waterfront buildings.
The impressive buildings, the first to be built
entirely of cast iron, brick and stone, were once
overflowing with exotic goods such as sugar, cotton
and tobacco from around the world. Built to accommodate
the biggest ships of the day, up to 1,000 tons
cargo capacity, it symbolises Liverpool's 19 th
century greatness as a port of world importance.
However, after 1890, trade declined as the dock
could not provide deep enough water to accommodate
the new steamships, leaving it largely disused
until its closure in 1972.
Thereafter it lay abandoned and totally derelict
for more than a decade. Fortunately, Arrowcroft
Group and the Merseyside Development Corporation
refurbished it during the 1980's and, largely
thanks to Michael Heseltine, by 1984 it was finally
and brilliantly restored to its former glory.
HRH Prince Charles performed the official re-opening
ceremony on 24 th May 1988.
The original building cost was £514,475-8s-1d.
The present day insurance valuation of the buildings,
however, is in excess of £100 million.
The Albert Dock Now
Today, the Albert Dock is the largest group of
grade one listed buildings in the UK containing
one and a quarter million square feet of floor
space. A unique, award-winning mixture of shops,
cafes, restaurants, pubs, top-class visitor attractions,
offices, television studios and luxury apartments
largely occupies this space. Billed as "Liverpool's
Historic Waterfront" it's a type of rescued
urban heritage that's been copied throughout the
country, but rarely as successfully as here.
Liverpool's rich maritime heritage is demonstrated
at the Merseyside Maritime Museum where visitors
can go on special tours or embark on a voyage
from the 'Emigrants to the New World Gallery'
or learn about the conditions on board a transatlantic
slavery ship. As well as discovering the dramatic
stories of the Titanic and Lusitania you can also
discover the HM Customs and Excise Museum, which
illustrates the city's battle against smuggling
throughout the centuries.
Close by, the Museum of Liverpool Life traces
the history of Liverpool and its people.
And then it's time to relive the most sensational
story the pop world ever knew. The Beatles Story
allows visitors to live and breathe the whole
For art lovers a visit to Tate Liverpool is a
must. View major exhibitions by international
artists alongside the national collection of modern
Then there's an opportunity to do the 'tourist
thing' and jump on board the Liverpool Duck Tours.
The Duck Tours offer a one-hour trip taking in
the key sites around Liverpool city centre. Then
the bus becomes a boat and splashes down in Salthouse
Dock giving visitors a chance to sail up to the