Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Bute Docks

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Bute Docks at Cardiff

Increasing agitation for proper dock facilities led Cardiff's foremost landowner, John Crichton-Stuart, 2nd Marquess of Bute, to promote the construction of the (West) Bute Dock, designed by Admiral William Henry Smyth and opened in October 1839.

Just two years later, the Taff Vale Railway was opened, following much the same route as the canal.

With the construction of the new East Bute Dock from 1855, built by Thomas Cubitt's firm, its opening in 1859 resulted in coal supplanting iron as the industrial foundation of South Wales, with exports reaching 2 million tons as early as 1862.

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