History of Hull Docks

The Dock

Construction began on 19 October 1775 and opened officially on Tuesday 22 September 1778. At the time it was the largest dock in the kingdom. It was simply named The Dock, then it was called The Old Dock until 1854, when it was renamed Queen’s Dock in honour of the royal visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The dock was in use for 150 years and finally closed in 1930. It was purchased by Hull Corporation for £100,000. Over the next four years it was filled in and landscaped and became known as Queen’s Gardens.

Download our leaflet Discovering Queen's Dock and Gardens at the Hull History Centre (PDF, 0.9MB) for a quick reference list of relevant books and archives.

Humber Dock

Construction started in 1807 and it opened to shipping in 1809. It closed to shipping in August 1967, before closing permanently in 1969. It was later redeveloped and in 1983 opened as part of the Marina.

Junction Dock

Opened in 1829 and later renamed Prince’s Dock in honour of Prince Albert for the royal visit in 1854. The dock was open for 139 years and closed for shipping in 1968. It was later redeveloped and opened as Prince's Quay Shopping Centre in 1991.

Victoria Dock

Excavations started in September 1845 and the first stone was laid on 5 November 1846. It opened on Wednesday 3 July 1850. In 1964 the entrance to the Victoria Dock from the River Hull was closed and remodelled. The dock closed on 1 February 1970. In 1988, a £63m scheme was started to redevelop the derelict dock into a dockland village.

Railway Dock

Opened for shipping on Friday 18 June 1846 and officially opened on 3 December 1846. The dock was closed to shipping in 1968-9 and sold to the Hull Corporation. The Railway Dock now forms part of the Marina.

Albert Dock

Opened in July 1869. Built at a cost of £1m, the dock covered seventeen acres and had one of the largest entrance locks in the country. Initially referred to as the Western Dock, it was named for Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales.

William Wright Dock

Opened on Monday 24 May 1873 and named after William Wright, the chairman of the Hull Dock Company. The Albert and William Wright docks were joined together in 1910. In the late 1950s, the Albert Dock was redeveloped and in 1959 half of the south side had been reconstructed. In October 1972 the docks were closed to commercial traffic.

Due to the changing needs of the fishing industry, it was refurbished and in November 1975 the docks were again transferred to the fishing industry. It was inaugurated by the Rt. Hon. Frederick Peart MP, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, on 27 February 1976. It also supports a ship repair operation and cargo vessels.

St. Andrew's Dock

Opened on Monday 24 September 1883 and named after the Patron Saint of Fishermen, St Andrew, though known to many simply as 'Fish Dock'. In 1972 it was decided to move the fishing industry to its new home on Albert Dock and on 3 November 1975 St. Andrews was closed to shipping.

In 1985 the dock was filled in and it is now the site of a retail park named St. Andrew’s Quay.

Alexandra Dock

Named for Princess Alexandra, the dock opened on 16 July 1885. It was built by the controversial Hull and Barnsley Railway in an effort to challenge the regional monopoly held by North Eastern Railways. This eastern terminus facilitated the exportation of coal originating from the collieries of South Yorkshire, as well as receiving timber pit props imported from Scandanavia. An extension to the dock was added in 1899.

Riverside Quay

Opened in 1907 and used for quick handling of vessels on overnight runs to and from the continent, mainly carrying perishable goods inwards and carrying passengers both ways. Railway facilities were built alongside the quay which meant it become part of the journey for many European migrants, who disembarked at Hull, then went by train to Liverpool to join the Ocean Liners for the journey to America.

King George Dock

Designed by Sir Benjamin Baker, an eminent engineer of the period who also consulted on the Aswan Dam, the Forth Bridge and London's Metropolitan Railway, the dock opened on 26 June 1914.

Built as a joint development between the Hull and Barnsley Railway and North Eastern Railway, it was the first fully-electrified dock in the country. The roll on-roll off ferry service began in 1965, sailing between Hull and Rotterdam and later from Hull to Zeebrugge.

Salt End Oil Jetties

In 1914 the North Eastern Railway Company began construction on the No. 1 Oil Jetty at Salt End, one mile east of King George Dock.