Maritime Museum (formerly Town Docks Museum)


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

City of Kingston upon Hull (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
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This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 24/10/2012

This List entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 30/03/2017

TA 0928 NE, 680-1/22/322

KINGSTON UPON HULL, QUEEN VICTORIA SQUARE (North East side), Maritime Museum (formerly Town Docks Museum)

(Formerly listed as: Hull Maritime Museum and adjoining railings)

Previously Listed as Town Docks Museum and adjoining railings)

(Formerly Listed as The Dock Offices)




Former dock offices built 1868-71 for the Hull Dock Company by CG Wray. Converted for use as a museum in 1975.

MATERIALS: faced in Ancaster stone ashlar, the basement is of Bramley Fall Stone and sculptures of Portland Stone, with a hipped slate roof and ornamental crest. Italianate C15 style.

EXTERIOR: plinth, ground floor cornice with enriched frieze, dentillated and modillioned main cornice with sculptured frieze and circular windows in fluted and scrolled frames. Chamfered blocking course. Windows are mainly round-arched wooden cross casements. Two storeys; triangular island site with convex east front. Each of the rounded angles has a single-storey cupola with plinth and sill band, divided into six bays by engaged composite columns with half-pilaster responds and dolphins in the capitals. Continuous band of relief ornament between the capitals. Entablature with dentillated cornice broken over each column and topped with an obelisk finial. In each bay, a wooden cross casement with moulded architrave, pulvinated frieze and segmental pediment. Above, a low plinth with raised panels, carrying a ribbed lead dome topped with a domed lantern with finial. The supports of the lantern are in the form of dolphins. The south cupola has at the base a clock in a round-arched stone surround with oakleaf garlands and fluting, supported by dolphins. Main south-west front, two storeys; seven-window range. Projecting central entrance bay has a pediment with sculptured tympanum depicting a River God, Industry and Plenty. The pediment is topped with a crest of seated male and female figures flanking a grouping of three baroque cartouches and two cornucopiae, containing the Royal arms and those of Hull and Trinity House. On the first floor, a moulded round-arched window with console keystone, and spandrels with winged cherubs, flanked by paired Corinthian columns. In front of the window, a balustrade with double corner pedestals topped with ball finials. Below, entrance flanked by double Corinthian columns, with steps up to half-glazed double oak doors with fanlight. On each side of the steps, a round-arched recess containing a lamp. Flanking bays have two windows with pseudo-balustrades below and relief panels above, separated by paired Corinthian pilasters and flanked by similar half-pilasters. On the ground floor, similar fenestration defined by rusticated Roman Ionic pilasters, with pedestals with diapered panels below each window. Projecting end bays have on the first floor single cross casements in moulded round-arched openings with console keystones, carved spandrels, and balustraded balconies. Blocking course with obelisk finials. On the ground floor, a similar window set in a recess and flanked by rusticated Roman Ionic columns. Three rounded angles have on the first floor a round-arched cross casement flanked by double Corinthian pilasters, with balustrade and double pedestals with ball finials. On either side, a smaller single-pane window with pseudo-balustrade. All these windows have relief panels to their heads. On the ground floor, a recessed cross casement flanked by paired Corinthian columns supporting the balcony above. On either side, a smaller single-pane window flanked by a rusticated pilaster and half-pilaster. Convex east front, has a central section of seven windows and projecting single end bays. Similar detailing to the main front. Projecting central portico with two Ionic columns and rusticated corner pilasters, carrying an open pediment containing cartouches with the arms of Trinity House and Hull, topped with a crown. Above the pediment, a parapet with double pedestals and ball finials, forming a balcony. Round arched doorway with C20 glazed double doors and fanlight. Above the centre of the blocking course, a shield with the Royal arms, topped with a crown and supported by Neptune and Nereid each riding on a seahorse. North-west front, to New Cross Street, has a central section of four windows and projecting end bays. Similar detailing to the other fronts. All round the building, a cast-iron railing with trident heads and posts with finials. East entrance has a pair of gates.

INTERIOR: has central stairwell with plaster wall panels, running dog band, enriched cornice and frieze with wreathed monograms, and reticulated coved ceiling with central panel lit by a domed skylight. Branching stone stair with cast-iron and wrought-iron balustrade and ramped handrail. Ground floor has panelled cross beam with scroll brackets, and larger brackets carrying the first landing. On either side, round-arched double doors. First landing has three etched glass windows with moulded surrounds. Second landing has a central pedimented doorcase flanked by double doors and at each end, round-arched double doors with overlights, cornices and sculptured seahorses. All the doors have six fielded panels. First floor court room has bays divided by red scagliola Corinthian columns with gilt capitals, and corniced window recesses flanked by Corinthian pilasters. Above the cornices, pairs of figures with shields, and above these, oval windows with scroll keystones. Heavily enriched cornice. Moulded panelled ceiling with lamps in round bosses. At each end, two doorcases with pilasters and cornices, and six-panel double doors. Other first floor rooms have moulded cornices, some of them enriched. Ground floor wharfage office, below the court room, has moulded round-arched wall panels divided by square Doric half-columns, and at each end, a beam carried on double Doric columns. Rounded end has door flanked by half-columns and half-pilasters. Plain ceiling with latticework central boss.

HISTORY: Originally dock offices built in 1868-71 for the Hull Dock Company. The architect, Christoper George Wray, won the competition to design the new office in 1866. John Underwood of London was responsible for the principal sculptures and Thomas Frith of Hull carved the exterior capitals, friezes and decorative panels. Converted into a museum in 1975.

Listing NGR: TA0967028780


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Hull City Council, , Town Docks Museum (Handbook), (1980)
Neave, D & S, Hull, Pevsner Architectural Guide, (2010), 61-65
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire - York and the East Riding, (1972), 274


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 04 Sep 2006
Reference: IOE01/16053/03
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Callan. Source Historic England Archive
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