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The Albert Dock
The Albert Dock – History

The Albert Dock is a vision of the past with its focus firmly on the future and is one of the earliest surviving parts of the Liverpool dock system. It was built to the design of engineer/architect Jesse Hartley and was officially opened on 30 th July 1846 by Prince Albert.

Fronting onto Salthouse Quay and overlooking the Albert Dock, Edward Pavilion forms one side of the famous Waterfront buildings.

The impressive buildings, the first to be built entirely of cast iron, brick and stone, were once overflowing with exotic goods such as sugar, cotton and tobacco from around the world. Built to accommodate the biggest ships of the day, up to 1,000 tons cargo capacity, it symbolises Liverpool's 19 th century greatness as a port of world importance. However, after 1890, trade declined as the dock could not provide deep enough water to accommodate the new steamships, leaving it largely disused until its closure in 1972.

Thereafter it lay abandoned and totally derelict for more than a decade. Fortunately, Arrowcroft Group and the Merseyside Development Corporation refurbished it during the 1980's and, largely thanks to Michael Heseltine, by 1984 it was finally and brilliantly restored to its former glory. HRH Prince Charles performed the official re-opening ceremony on 24 th May 1988.

The original building cost was £514,475-8s-1d. The present day insurance valuation of the buildings, however, is in excess of £100 million.

The Albert Dock Now

Today, the Albert Dock is the largest group of grade one listed buildings in the UK containing one and a quarter million square feet of floor space. A unique, award-winning mixture of shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, top-class visitor attractions, offices, television studios and luxury apartments largely occupies this space. Billed as "Liverpool's Historic Waterfront" it's a type of rescued urban heritage that's been copied throughout the country, but rarely as successfully as here.

Liverpool's rich maritime heritage is demonstrated at the Merseyside Maritime Museum where visitors can go on special tours or embark on a voyage from the 'Emigrants to the New World Gallery' or learn about the conditions on board a transatlantic slavery ship. As well as discovering the dramatic stories of the Titanic and Lusitania you can also discover the HM Customs and Excise Museum, which illustrates the city's battle against smuggling throughout the centuries.

Close by, the Museum of Liverpool Life traces the history of Liverpool and its people.
And then it's time to relive the most sensational story the pop world ever knew. The Beatles Story allows visitors to live and breathe the whole 60's experience.

For art lovers a visit to Tate Liverpool is a must. View major exhibitions by international artists alongside the national collection of modern art.

Then there's an opportunity to do the 'tourist thing' and jump on board the Liverpool Duck Tours. The Duck Tours offer a one-hour trip taking in the key sites around Liverpool city centre. Then the bus becomes a boat and splashes down in Salthouse Dock giving visitors a chance to sail up to the Liverpool Marina.

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