Herculaneum Dock

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Herculaneum Dock
Entrance to Herculaneum Dock (geograph 3813081).jpg
The infilled entrance to Herculaneum Dock in 2014
Location Dingle, Merseyside, United Kingdom
Coordinates 53°22′43″N 2°58′12″W / 53.3786°N 2.9701°W / 53.3786; -2.9701Coordinates: 53°22′43″N 2°58′12″W / 53.3786°N 2.9701°W / 53.3786; -2.9701
OS grid SJ354873
Opened 1866
Closed 1972
Type Wet dock
British Empire Dockyards and Ports, 1909

Herculaneum Dock was part of the Port of Liverpool in Liverpool, England. It was at the south end of the Liverpool dock system, on the River Mersey. To the north it was connected to Harrington Dock. The dock was named after the Herculaneum Pottery Company that had occupied the site before.


From 1767, a tidal basin in the area that would become the dock was used for unloading copper for a smelting works.[1] Between 1794 and 1841 it was the site of a pottery. In 1864, a new dock designed by George Fosbery Lyster was blasted from the foreshore, providing two graving docks. This dock opened in 1866.[2] Ten years later, a third graving dock was added.[3]

Beginning in 1873, the dock handled petroleum. In 1878, specialist casemates were built to store this and other volatile cargo within the sandstone cliffs above. The dock continued in this capacity until the task of oil handling was transferred across the river to Tranmere Oil Terminal and Stanlow Oil Refinery. During 1881 the dock facility was enlarged further and a fourth graving dock was constructed in 1902.[3]

Liverpool remained an important port during the Second World War, with Herculaneum Dock acting as a terminus for the North Atlantic Convoys.[3]

Herculaneum Dock was formerly served by its own station on the Liverpool Overhead Railway. The station (and railway) closed on 30 December 1956. By 1958 demolition of the station had been completed.[4]

In 1972, Herculaneum Dock closed[2] and was filled in during the 1980s.

After closure[edit]

The area south of the dock contained a tank farm; this was reclaimed for the Liverpool Garden Festival and residential properties.

In 2004, the site was bought by national property developer David McLean Homes and a riverside residential development, called City Quay, Liverpool was built on the dock.

Since the closing of Herculaneum Dock, what was the main dock area is now a car park and where the graving docks were are now office buildings. The map of 1901 shows the entrance to the dock with the letter 'L'. A restaurant has since been built on this.


  1. ^ "Herculaneum Dock". Liverpool History Online. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Duffy, Tom (9 May 2014). "Tower block planned for Herculaneum dock". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Trading Places: Herculaneum Dock History". Liverpool Museums. Archived from the original on 7 September 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2008. 
  4. ^ "Station Name: Herculaneum Dock (2nd)". Disused Stations. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 

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