Maryport History (click here for home page)

Harbour build and dredge

Maryport harbour construction

1837 a breakwater protected ships from storms and winds and ships tied up against the side of the town, and when the tide receded, the wooden ships settled on the muddy bottom, leaned against the wall or against each other, and the weight of the hull leaning on the ground or against another shop could bend the planks of the hull which could thus leak unless more fibrous stuffing was forced between the planks, ie caulking maintenance. The waves ie swell would move the ship up and down, causing potential damage. The ship is less prone to damage and expensive repair if it floats when tied up at a dock, so the floating dock was eventually built with dock gates so that ships contiue to float without waves or wind bouncing them against each other when tied up.

Map harbour 1837 tidal dock. As the tide recedes, ships settle on the mud - this is before Elizabeth floating dock was built ie gates close, water remains in dock, ships float. Resting on solid ground could warp the planks of the hull. Google maps
Map harbour old coastline over Senhouse Dock Elizabeth Dock
Maryport harbour showing the old coastline. In 1837 the first tidal dock was built, where the Aquarium is now. Then in 1857 Elizabeth Dock was built behind it, with lock gates so ships floated - a floating dock. Eventually another dock was required but first the coastline had to be extended out to sea! Eventually Senhouse Dock was opened in 1884. See other pages for construction and opening ceremony. Aerial photo by Google 2023.

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Maryport harbour construction steam crane on rails
Maryport harbour construction steam crane on rails - a similar working steam crane is now at Threlkeld Mining Museum.
Maryport Harbour Building The Dock And Gates Date Unknown
Maryport harbour building the dock and dock gates.
Maryport harbour workers at Elizabeth and Senhouse Dock 1895
A group of blacksmiths and fitters outside their workshop between the Elizabeth and Senhouse Docks, c. 1895. The building was part of Pearson Dodgson's business; he was a ship's chandler engineer and blacksmith of 18 Senhouse Street. BC
Maryport Harbour Dock Workers
Maryport harbour dock workers
Maryport Harbour Senhouse Dock Under Construction
Maryport harbour Senhouse dock under construction. Two steam cranes, also known as steam navvies. The cast iron lighthouse is in place.
Maryport harbour construction with dredger stiffleg derrick crane
Construction of Senhouse Dock 1880 - 1884 with dredger and stiffleg derrick crane. This shows the amount of material that had to be removed and the challenge to the builders and financiers.

Dredging the harbour

Maryport Harbour From Custom House With Dredger Tinted Narrow
Maryport harbour with steam dredger. The mono photo is hand coloured. Note the Methodist "lantern church".
Maryport Harbour Steam Dredger At Work
Maryport harbour steam dredger at work
Maryport Harbour Steam Dredger 1954
Maryport harbour steam dredger was a regular requirement 1954
Maryport Harbour Steam Tug Towing Dredger Notice Warned Small
Maryport harbour steam tug towing steam dredger
Maryport Harbour From Pier Looking To Town 1954
Maryport Harbour From Pier Looking To Town 1954