Liverpool’s historic Old Dock opened to the public for first time everTHE historic dock which started Liverpool’s transformation into a world-class port can now be seen for the first time.
The city’s Old Dock, which featured on Channel Four’s Time Team programme in 2008, has been converted into a major tourist attraction.
Schoolchildren and other groups were invited on special preview tours yesterday.
Completed in 1715, it was the world’s first commercial enclosed wet dock.
It has now been preserved beneath the Liverpool One development.
The dock was built on the mouth of the “pool” which gave Liverpool its name.
Its development saw the small village of 5,000 people turn into a major port 100 years later with 77,000 residents.
It was buried in 1826 but rediscovered during excavations in 2001.
Liverpool One developer Grosvenor has turned it into a tourist attraction and it will open to the public on Tuesday May 4.
It displays the north-east section of the dock and includes a tunnel which could have once linked up to Liverpool Castle.
Equipped with special displays, a giant projector shows how it would have looked at the riverfront in 1715.
Thomas Steers, a leading engineer, devised the dock’s revolutionary gate system so it could be used in any tide.
Run by National Museums Liverpool, the attraction can be reached from the car park entrance opposite John Lewis.
Daniel Wright and Yossarian Vanducci, visitor hosts from National Museums Liverpool, will be leading the tours.
Mr Vanducci said: “We have taken a school group around and their reaction was amazing. They absolutely loved it.”
Mr Wright added: “It is like taking a step back in time. We are able to see what made Liverpool what it is. This was what transformed it from a tiny village.”
Chris Bliss, Liverpool One’s estate director, said: “Grosvenor, the driving force throughout the whole process, funded the interpretation centre up to the completion of the building.”
Public tours will be held every Tuesday and Wednesday for schools when the centre opens. Call 0151-478 4296 for details. THE ECHO