Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Alfred Dock

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1928.

Alfred Dock is a dock at Birkenhead, Wirral Peninsula.

The dock covers an area of 8 acres and provides access to the Great Float from the River Mersey. Of the existing two river entrances, only the north locks remain operational. Tower Road, which links Birkenhead with the Seacombe area of Wallasey, divides Alfred Dock from the Great Float via a bascule bridge. This bridge is the last remaining of the former Four Bridges which crossed the dock system at this point.

Completed in 1866, it was opened by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria.

Designed to replace the Great Low Water Basin, the dock was originally constructed with three lock entrances from the river and three passages onwards to the Great Float. This provided much expanded access to the Birkenhead dock system, which was also served by an entrance channel further south via Morpeth Dock.

In order to accommodate larger vessels, the lock entrances and passages were widened and deepened in 1929. This meant the removal of a river lock entrance and an access channel to the Great Float, in order to reconstruct the remaining facilities. At the same time, a bascule bridge and a swing bridge were constructed over two remaining passages.

By the beginning of the 1980s, the remaining southern lock entrance had closed and was partly filled in. The redevelopment of Tower Road over a decade later precipitated in the removal of the swing bridge and the sealing up of the southern passage


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