Princes Dock

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For other uses, see Princes Dock (disambiguation).
Princes Dock, Liverpool Waterfront
1 Princes Dock, one of the tallest buildings on the dockside
Footbridge over Princes Dock, Liverpool
North end of Princes Dock, 7 June 2008, cut off from the rest of the dock by a new road embankment and being landfilled
MS Prinsendam at Cruise Liner terminal
Derelict wharfage offshore from Princes Dock, Liverpool, 7 June 2008
Liners moored at Liverpool Princes Landing Stage in 1950.

Princes Dock is a dock on the River Mersey, England, and part of the Port of Liverpool. It is the most southerly of the docks situated in the northern part of the Liverpool dock system, connected to Princes Half Tide Dock to the north. The dock is now in the buffer zone to one of Liverpool's World Heritage Sites.


The dock was built by John Foster, with construction starting in 1810. During the construction, Foster ordered many times more stone than was needed. Allegedly, Foster diverted it to his family's building company. He resigned when this was discovered.

Princes Dock was named after the Prince Regent. It opened on the day of the Prince Regent's coronation as George IV in 1821. Access to the southern half of the dock system was via George's Basin, George's Dock and into Canning Dock. In 1899, both George's Basin and George's Dock were filled in to create what is now the Pier Head.[1]

On 12 June 1895 Liverpool Riverside Station was opened, situated between Princes Dock and the River Mersey.

In 1968 B&I Line (operator of the Liverpool - Dublin service) commenced a new car ferry service from Carrier Dock further downriver. A passenger only service continued to use Princes Dock till 1969.

Ferry services from Princes Dock finally ended in November 1981 when P&O Ferries closed their Liverpool - Belfast overnight service. The dock subsequently closed to shipping and was partly filled.[2]


Office blocks on Princes Parade

Much of Princes Dock's wharfage and warehouse space has been replaced by:

  • Three blocks of office accommodation along the river front.
  • The £24 million Malmaison 128-room hotel. It opened in 2007 and is its owning company's first ever 'new build'.[3] It stands alongside the existing Crowne Plaza hotel.
  • Three apartment blocks (UK: blocks of flats).
  • Planning permission has been secured for the £130million New World Square. This will incorporate an eight storey, five-star hotel, 385 apartments and space for shops and restaurants.[4]

The dock was partially filled in to inland canal boat depths precluding deep water vessels. The dock has been divided into two sections spanned by a pedestrian bridge[5] that was designed by the Liverpool John Moores University Centre for Architectural Research and Consultancy Unit (CARCU).[6]

By March 2009 work was completed[7][8] on a £22 million extension of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, providing a further 1.4 miles of navigable waterway.[9] A new lock and fixed bridge was built at the northern end of Princes Dock. At the south end of the dock, a new canal tunnel was constructed which leads to the Pier Head. The tunnel is routed beneath St. Nicholas Place and the access road for the new cruise liner facility.[10] From Princes Dock, the extension passes the Pier Head and terminates at Canning Dock.[9]

Cultural references[edit]

Princes Dock is mentioned in the novel Redburn, His First Voyage by Herman Melville (1849):[11]

"In magnitude, cost and durability the docks of Liverpool surpass all others in the world... for miles you may walk along that riverside, passing dock after dock, like a chain of immense fortresses. Prince's Dock, of comparatively recent construction, is perhaps the largest of all and is well known to American sailors from the fact that it is mostly frequented by the American shipping."

It is also mentioned in The English at the North Pole, the first part of Jules Verne novel The Adventures of Captain Hatteras (1864).[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trading Places: A History of Liverpool Docks, Liverpool Museums, retrieved 20 March 2008 
  2. ^ Trading Places: Princes Dock History, Liverpool Museums, retrieved 7 January 2008 
  3. ^ Dennis, Jon (6 March 2007), Malmaison, Liverpool, London: The Guardian, retrieved 6 April 2008 
  4. ^ Major Development Projects / Princes Dock, The Mersey Partnership, retrieved 4 April 2008 
  5. ^ Liverpool Canal Link, before work began (Page 2), Pennine Waterways, retrieved 6 April 2008 
  6. ^ Walking through hoops. Footbridge at Princes Dock, Liverpool, The Construction Information Service, retrieved 6 April 2008 
  7. ^ Liverpool Canal Link, March 2009 (Page 1: Salthouse Dock, Mann Island), Pennine Waterways, retrieved 8 July 2009 
  8. ^ New canal link to boost tourism, BBC News, 25 March 2009, retrieved 8 July 2009 
  9. ^ a b Liverpool Canal Link: The Scheme, British Waterways, retrieved 8 July 2009 
  10. ^ St Nicholas Tunnel, British Waterways, retrieved 8 July 2009 
  11. ^ Picture Gallery: Princes Dock, The Black & White Picture Place, archived from the original on 5 January 2008, retrieved 20 March 2008 
  12. ^ "The Project Gutenberg EBook of The English at the North Pole". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 7 September 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°24′32″N 2°59′56″W / 53.40889°N 2.99889°W / 53.40889; -2.99889