Liverpool's Dockland Heritage
The revitalisation and history of the heart of Merseyside
At the start of the eighteenth century, Liverpool was a small town with a population of just 6,000. By 1900 it was the greatest provincial port in Great Britain, and the chief export port – trading with the whole of the known world. Gradually, as world trading patterns changed, the magnificent docks and waterfront fell into disuse and decay, and were eventually closed. Today however, the heart of Merseyside is alive again,
The bottle-neck shape of the Mersey made Liverpool an unlikely site for a port, as problems were compounded by strong tides and currents, and as early as 1707 the town's Members of Parliament, Thomas Johnson and Richard Norris, sought to alleviate these problems by promoting the construction of its first wet dock. The Old Dock, as it was called, was completed in 1719, and from that point onwards, dock-building in the eighteenth century barely kept up with the demands of trade.