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Report - Herculaneum Dock Petroleum Stores - Liverpool - September - 2012 -

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by georgie, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. georgie

    georgie He Never Even Got There
    Regular User

    May 2, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Herculaneum Dock History............taken from


    Active Period - 1767 to 1972


    A small tidal basin is on the site that will be Herculaneum Dock. It is used to take copper ore to a local smelting business (smelting is the process where metal is extracted from ore by melting it).


    Local businessmen plan a wet dock for the site that will become Herculaneum Dock.


    The Liverpool Dock Committee buys the site that will become Herculaneum Dock. This is to prevent competition. They do not begin to develop it yet.


    Work begins to build Herculaneum Dock. Most Liverpool docks are built onto the shore, but Herculaneum is dug from dry land using explosives. Unexcavated material forms a dam that keeps the water out until the dock is finished. Removed material is dumped out at sea.

    Two graving docks are also opened. These are the main reasons for building the dock.


    Herculaneum Dock is officially opened. It will be mainly deal in:

    ship repair


    A third graving dock opens at Herculaneum Dock.


    Herculaneum quay is permitted to deal in petroleum.


    A new branch is added to Herculaneum Dock. This improves access to the graving docks.

    Short tunnels with heavy doors (casemates) are dug into the sandstone above the dock. They are used for storing petroleum. For safety purposes these are well away from other docks. They are the first specialist facility on the Mersey. Other dangerous materials are also stored there including turpentine, resin and explosives.


    Parts of Herculaneum Dock are enlarged.


    A buoy store is built at Herculaneum Dock to clean and repair buoys, cables, small boats etc.


    Two 25-ton coaling cranes and other equipment arrive at Herculaneum Dock. The coal is for ships' bunkers, for export and for the Board's large steam plant.


    Bulk storage opens at Herculaneum Dock. Oil is piped directly from ship to store.


    A fourth graving dock opens at Herculaneum Dock. Dredgers, coasters, steam hoppers, tugs and surveying vessels visit regularly.


    A coal strike affects trade at Herculaneum Dock.


    A rail strike affects trade at Herculaneum Dock.


    An oil jetty is built at Herculaneum Dock for the growing oil trade.


    A coal strike affects trade at Herculaneum Dock that begins to decline.


    Oil jetties are built at Herculaneum Dock for the growing oil trade.


    War begins and Herculaneum Dock is in constant use. This is the dock's busiest time ever. Liverpool is the main port for the North Atlantic convoy.


    The jetties at Herculaneum Dock are still popular with oil tankers. Pipes carry oil from the oil stores to ships, railway wagons (fireless engines) and barges.


    A new buoy store is built at Herculaneum Dock to clean and repair buoys, cables, and small boats. A blacksmith and shipwright are also built.


    Herculaneum is losing business. It has been affected by several factors including:

    silting of the dock river entrance and oil jetties.
    changes in world trade patterns (the main change was the move to shipping crude oil, which was never imported to Liverpool).
    competition from the Birkenhead side of the river Mersey.


    Herculaneum Dock closes and is filled shortly after. The oil trade has moved across the river to Tranmere. The casemates are still very cheap to rent so are used to store explosives, radioactive substances and sometimes wine and cotton.

    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

    me and kevsy21 was passing this complex and decided to take a closer look at these remaining tunnels ,we had originally only planned to get out of the car and take external pics....not expecting to be able to gain access to a few of them so it was a nice surprise when we did.

    explored with kevsy21

    admitedly not much ,but every hole is a goal especially when it concerns liverpool's history/heritage

    im using a new camera on this report so bear with me on the pics as im still getting used to the damn thing

    a few old pics i found online to start off with

    "Each Store is a Short Tunnel 60ft long in the Sandstone Rock"
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    These casemates remain a feature of City Quay today, forming the base of the sandstone cliff that separates the development from Grafton Street above. In all 63 casemates remain.



    some of them had what looked like a natural spring above them , the constant stream of water had rusted open a few of them






    just for scale of height there quite high or 4 kevsy's stacked ontop of eachother

    the different colourations/layers of sandstone were cool

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    some remaining cobbles outside



    we came across a cool memorial next to the apartments,representing scenes from the working class and trade union history of Liverpool.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    the site of the former herculaneum dock today and a smily face carved in the sandstone
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

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