Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

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

North East Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TA 27650 10735



TA2710NE ROYAL DOCK, The Docks 699-1/7/126 Quayside walls at Royal Dock


Dock quayside retaining walls. 1849-52, by James Rendel, engineer, with Adam Smith of Brigg as resident engineer, and Hutchins, Brown and White, contractors, for the Grimsby Dock Company. York stone ashlar walls on a brick substructure; cast-iron mooring bollards. The dock, covering about 20 acres, measures 2200 feet (670 metres) north to south and 500 feet (152 metres) east to west, with a pair of locks (one now disused) at the seaward end, flanking the jetty on which the Dock Tower stands (qv). The dockside quays were built using the same vaulted construction system that John Rennie had devised and employed for the first time in 1798-9 at Grimsby Haven Dock, and which is still visible beside the disused Grimsby Haven Lock (qv). Here it is on a much larger scale. Behind the 8-foot thick stone quay walls of the Royal Dock are a series of semicircular brick arched vaults spanning 33 feet (10 metres) between brick piers on piled foundations, resembling a concealed viaduct, with the vaults extending 72 feet (22 metres) back at right angles from the quayside. The quay wall, 32 feet (9.75 metres) high, is pierced by smaller round-headed openings below water level in order to equalise water pressure between the dock and the vaults behind. HISTORY: the dock was located wholly outside the original Humber Bank, projecting out into the deeper water of the estuary so that it could take the largest ships of its period. It was built inside a massive cofferdam about a mile long, extending half a mile into the Humber and enclosing 138 acres. Its opening in May 1852 by Prince Albert, marked by a banquet in one of the lock pits, is commemorated by the Albert Statue in front of the Dock Offices at the southern end of the Royal Dock (qv). The Royal Dock, with its accompanying entrance locks and Dock Tower (qv) represents a major example of a comprehensive Victorian engineering project, and is especially notable for its quayside construction and innovative hydraulic technology. This dock and the surviving section of the nearby Grimsby Haven Dock incorporating the former entrance lock, built 50 years apart and both using the same vaulted construction system originally devised by John Rennie for use at Grimsby, form an interesting comparison.

(Civil Engineering Heritage: Labrum EA: Eastern and Central England: London: 1994-: 52-4; A guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Lincolnshire & S.Humbs: Wright NR: Lincoln: 1983-: 16-18; University of Hull Publications: Gillett E: A History of Grimsby: London: 1970-: 214-5; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N, Harris J, and Antram N: Lincolnshire: London: 1989-: 343; Ambler RW: Great Grimsby Fishing Heritage: a brief for a trail: Grimsby Borough Council: 1990-: 17-18, 20-22).

Listing NGR: TA2765010735


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Gillett, E, A History of Grimsby, (1970), 214-215
Pevsner, N, John, H, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, (1964), 343
Wright, N R, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Lincolnshire16-18
Labrum, E A, 'Civil Engineering Heritage' in Eastern And Central England, (1994), 52-54


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: 08 Feb 2006
Reference: IOE01/14894/14
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Les Waby. Source Historic England Archive
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