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Archaeologists Reveal Manchester Dock

Photographs  John H. Luxton 2007

The majority of Merseyside people appear to be against the rather outrageously designed Museum of Liverpool which is proposed for the Mann Island site. However, before construction commences, archaeological is being undertaken by National Museums. A viewing platform has been constructed and visitors are able to watch archaeologists at work revealing the site of the former Manchester Dock. - Photographs - January 27, 2007.

Manchester Dock was opened in 1785 operated by the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company for the Manchester trade and was adjacent to the Chester Basin operated by the Chester and Ellesmere Canal (Later Shropshire Union). In 1818 Manchester Basin was converted from an open basin to half-tide dock by the fitting of river gates. Manchester Dock became important during the 19th Century as the Liverpool Terminal of the Great Western Railway's freight service. This resulted in the construction of the Great Western Railway freight depot which was restored by Merseyside Museums when the Albert and Canning Docks were redeveloped in the 1980s. Manchester Dock was in filled during the period 1928 to 1936 being used as a dumping place for spoil excavated from the Queensway Road tunnel construction project.
The photographs above show clearly show the location of the entrance passage to the dock. The deep two chambered pit which is visible presumably accommodated hydraulic machinery associated with the operation of the nearby river gates. The removal of the car park surface has revealed the original cobble stone paving.

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