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Part of Liverpool Docks
The dock was opened in 1737 as the Dry Dock, a protected tidal basin providing an entrance to Old Dock. Having been subsequently enclosed as a wet dock three years earlier, in 1832 it was officially named after the Liverpool MP George Canning. To the east is the site of Old Dock, built in 1709, which was the world first enclosed commercial dock. Canning Dock would have initially served ships involved in the trans Atlantic slave trade.
Access to the northern half of the dock system was via Georges Dock, George's Basin and into Prince's Dock. In 1899, both Georges Basin and George's Dock were filled in and the site is now the Pier Head.
Along with the Albert Dock and others in the immediate vicinity, Canning Dock was abandoned as a commercial shipping facility in 1972 due to the rising cost of dredging and falling numbers in traffic.
The dock was restored from 1983 and provides access to the Canning Graving Docks, which are part of the Merseyside Maritime Museum.