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Birkenhead Docks were designed as an inland system by enclosing the tidal inlet of Wallasey Pool. The construction of a coffer dam enabled land reclamation and excavations to take place.
1843 James Meadows Rendel made plans for docks at Birkenhead, which he defended before parliamentary committees against hostile local influence. The contest was long protracted, and the incessant labour served to shorten Rendel's life.
The plans for its construction were originally published in 1844 in the Liverpool Standard newspaper. The scheme was managed by the Birkenhead Dock Co until a financial crisis in 1847.
From 1844 to 1856, in every session of Parliament, the proposal was repeated for the Birkenhead Docks.
1855 Transfer of the Birkenhead Dock Estate to the Corporation of Liverpool
1858 1st January: Transferred to the Liverpool Dock Trustees, since recognised under the title of The Mersey Docks and Harbour Board who gained the rights to dock ownership and revenues.
The Resurgam, one of the first submarines, was tested in the Great Float in 1879.
In the early 20th century, Birkenhead Docks became an important flour milling centre, with numerous companies, including Joseph Rank and Spillers, located on the Great Float's quaysides. In the 1990s, long after the industry had gone into decline, most of these buildings were demolished. Two large warehouses remain, which have now been converted into residential apartments.
1909 See plan of dockyard in 1909.