The Albert Dock is the largest group of Grade I listed buildings
in Britain, covering 1.25 million square feet, and was designed by
the engineer/architect Jesse Hartley. The Liverpool Dock Office
oversaw the building of the new dock, submitting plans in 1839, and
approving them in 1841, before the dock was officially opened on 30
July 1846 by Prince Albert.
The wood used in many warehouses had made fires a big problem amongst warehouses before the building of the Albert Dock, which was the first enclosed, non-combustible dock warehouse system in the world, and the first structure in Britain to be built entirely of cast iron, brick and stone. It was to gain another 'first' in 1848, when the world's first hydraulic warehouse hoists were installed.
The cost of building the original dock was £514,475-8s-ld, however the insurance valuation of the buildings today is in excess of £250 million.
The dock was built to accommodate sailing ships with a cargo capacity of up to 1,000 tons, but by the turn of the twentieth century only 7% of ships using the port were sailing ships. The dock's days were numbered and it was finally closed in 1972.
The refurbishment of Albert Dock was carried out by the Arrowcroft Group, through its subsidiary, the Albert Dock Co Ltd. Plans were prepared in 1982, work began in 1983 and the first phase was opened in 1984 in time for the arrival of the Tall Ships Race and the International Garden Festival.
HRH Prince Charles performed the official re-opening ceremony on 24 May 1988, and the Albert Dock has gone on to win a string of awards and accolades, both as an area, and through the quality and diversity of our tenants.