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King George Dock, Hull
Kingston upon Hull, Humberside, UK
associated engineer
Sir Benjamin Baker
Sir John Wolfe Barry
A.C. Hurtzig
C.A. Brereton
date  1899 - 26th June 1914
era  Modern  |  category  Docks/Slipway  |  reference  TA143287
The King George Dock was the first fully electrically operated dock in the UK. It was built jointly by the Hull & Barnsley Railway and the North Eastern Railway companies, being known originally as the Joint Dock. Its primary purpose was for exporting coal from the coal mines of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.
A dock on the River Humber was proposed in 1898 but was opposed by the Humber Conservancy Board who were concerned that the structure would divert the river's course. However, in 1899 the Hull Joint Dock Act was passed, and the dock was built to a design by Sir Benjamin Baker and Sir John Wolfe Barry, who worked together on several docking projects. Baker's partner A.C. Hurtzig, and C.A. Brereton were the other engineers.
The Joint Dock was opened by their majesties King George V and Queen Mary on 26th June 1914, and renamed the King George Dock.
The dock is located on the north bank of the Humber and covers an area of some 21 hectares, with more than 2.7km of quays. The two 'arms' of the dock meet in a central turning area approximately 305m square, which connects it to the river through an entrance lock 229m long and 26m wide.
The north west arm has three quays, and direct connections to the rail network. At first the dock was used mainly for cargoes of coal but in 1919 a grain silo and two berths were added. Later, when coal exports declined, the quays were used for shipping wool, meat, fruit, vegetables and perishable goods.
Two graving (dry) docks were built at the east end of the dock, capable of accommodating the largest vessels using the port.
The south east arm was used for cargoes of wood, ores, pig iron, copper, scrap metal, machinery, iron and steel. Hull remains the UK's leading timber port, and the estuary's only passenger port.
In 1965, berths were constructed for the new roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferries that handled the increasing traffic between Britain and Europe/Scandinavia. Services between Hull and Rotterdam, and Hull and Zeebrugge, began. In 1966, ferries began docking in Sweden. More Ro-Ro terminals opened on 23rd January 1973 on Quay West in the King George Dock.
Research: ECPK
bibliography
Obituary, Sir Benjamin Baker
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, pp.377-383, London, 1907
"King George Dock, Hull: Major Developments, 1959-1963" by D.G. McGarey
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Vol. 27, Issue 3, pp.465-490, London, March 1964
www.ports.org.uk
www.riverhumber.com
Location

King George Dock, Hull