Vittoria Dock

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Vittoria Dock
South Atlantic Building, Vittoria Dock, Birkenhead - - 1433449.jpg
South Atlantic Building, W.H. Boase & Co. wharfingers office, Vittoria Dock.
Location Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Coordinates 53°24′05″N 3°01′49″W / 53.4014°N 3.0303°W / 53.4014; -3.0303Coordinates: 53°24′05″N 3°01′49″W / 53.4014°N 3.0303°W / 53.4014; -3.0303
OS grid SJ314899
Owner Peel Holdings
Opened 1909
Joins East Float

Vittoria Dock is a dock in Birkenhead, Wirral Peninsula, England. It was built between 1905 and 1909, from land reclaimed during the construction of the Great Float.


The dock was designed by Anthony George Lyster.[1] Construction began in 1905, from the land reclaimed during the construction of the Great Float.[2] During its construction on 6 March 1909, a temporary dam collapsed, killing 14 navvies. This incident is now referred to as the Birkenhead Dock Disaster. The dock was opened in 1909, having warehouses on either side.[3]

The name Vittoria[edit]

The dock is named after the Battle of Vittoria, fought on 21 June 1813.

An alternative view is that Vittoria Dock has derived its name as a tribute to the first ship to circumnavigate the globe, Magellan's Vittoria.[4] However, Magellan's ship was named after the church of Santa María de la Victoria de Triana, therefore, this Vittoria naming may be questioned.

Vittoria Dock is sometimes incorrectly quoted as 'Victoria Dock', thought in reference to Queen Victoria. However, the wharf was originally known as Victoria, and the plans of 1843 include a Victoria Dock on the site.[2] Although, when acquired by the Liverpool Corporation, the site may have been renamed to avoid confusion with Victoria Dock.[2]

In use[edit]

Between 1937 and 1941, HMS Conway, a training ship, was based here. Between the 1920s and 1970s, the Vittoria Wharf terminal was operated by Clan Line Steamers Ltd. The southern quayside was operated by Blue Funnel Line Ltd.,[5] which loaded two or three ships each week, destined for the Far East.[6] The Brocklebank Line, Houston Line and the Scottish Shire Line also used the dock.[7] The dock was extended west in 1960,[7] and fell into disuse as container shipping came into use.[4]

When the Warship Preservation Trust closed in February 2006, most of its exhibits, which included the Rothesay class frigate HMS Plymouth and wooden hulled minesweeper HMS Bronington, were later moved to Vittoria Dock for safe storage.[8]


The dock is included in Peel Group's £4.5bn Wirral Waters redevelopment. The Baseline Study of July 2008 has been endorsed by Wirral Borough Council.[9] In February 2009 the initial stage of the planning application for the first major mixed-use development masterplan/quarter was submitted.[10] The development would be expected to take up to 30 years.



  1. ^ Pevsner & Hubbard 2001, p. 87
  2. ^ a b c McCarron & Jarvis 1992, pp. 97-98
  3. ^ Ashmore 1982, p. 156
  4. ^ a b Wirral Champion Journal, No.1, Spring 2000, pp. 24–27, ISSN 1470-2746 
  5. ^ Ian Collard (2001), Mersey Ports, Liverpool and Birkenhead, Tempus Publishing Limited, p. 111, ISBN 978-0-752421-10-0 
  6. ^ Hobson, C.A. (December 1986). "Back to Birkenhead After 50 Years". Sea Breezes. Vol. 60 no. 492. pp. 825–833. ISSN 0036-9977. OCLC 479104818. 
  7. ^ a b Greenwood 2007, p. 76
  8. ^ Places of Interest - Historic Warships, retrieved 12 October 2007 
  9. ^ Wirral Waters: Planning, Peel Waters, retrieved 3 July 2009 
  10. ^ Peel Submits Planning For First Large Scale Development at Wirral Waters (pdf), Peel Waters, 3 February 2009, retrieved 3 July 2009 


External links[edit]