LIVERPOOL’S Lost Dock is being opened to the public for the first time in 200 years. The first glimpse for centuries of the world’s first commercial enclosed wet dock will be unveiled this Saturday.
The Old Dock opened in 1715 and marked the beginning of Liverpool’s rise to become an international seaport. Its construction was a technological innovation and represented the start of Liverpool as a Maritime Mercantile City.
The city subsequently became “the supreme example of a commercial port at the time of Britain’s greatest global influence” – the reason why Liverpool was established as a World Heritage site.
In the 1820s, the dock was filled in and has remained unseen, apart from a glimpse created through the viewing window outside the new John Lewis store, in Liverpool One.
It is the oldest structure in the city centre, and featured in Channel 4’s Time Team programme, Liverpool’s Lost Dock.
The entrance is located by the large curved steps that lead up to the garden area on the upper tier of Liverpool One.
Guided tours of the Old Dock Display Centre, not officially open until later this year, are being offered to a limited number of visitors on Saturday. It is one of the highlights of this year’s International World Heritage Day and tours will be led by a knowledgeable Blue Badge Guide.
Visitors are restricted to those who have attended a lecture by Professor Philip Woodworth on the work of Sir William Hutchinson, who was appointed as the first Dock Master, in 1759.
The lecture starts at 11am in the Maritime Museum on Saturday.
A century ago,Liverpool was at the maritime heart of the world and as much as two-fifths of the world's trade passed through city.
Cllr Berni Turner, executive member for the environment and historic environment champion, said: “This day will focus on a number of individuals who pioneered great technological and astronomical advances which were vital in the age of sail.
“Liverpool’s eminence as a port was partly due to the technological achievements and it will be a fascinating day.
“Above all, it offers the first chance to have a proper public viewing of the Old Dock, which I am sure will prove to be very popular – so it is a question of book early or be disappointed.”
Liverpool City Council has also organised a coach tour to discover the works of Jeremiah Horrocks, Liverpool’s “Father of Astronomy” and a small exhibition of the work of Sir Oliver Lodge, the inventor of wireless telegraphy and the spark plug, in the Central Library.
Places on the tours have to be booked in advance by phoning the 08 Place on 0151 233 2459. THE POST