The arrival of the Tall Ships in Liverpool last weekend prompted me to reflect on the history of the Port of Liverpool and in particular its docks. The sailing ships reminded me what it must have been like all those years ago when these vessels first sailed the Mersey bringing in and taking cargos all over the world.
The historic centre and docklands of the maritime mercantile City of Liverpool bear witness to the development of one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries. Liverpool played an important role in the growth of the British Empire and became the major port for the mass movement of people, from northern Europe to America. Liverpool was a pioneer in the development of modern dock technology, transport systems and port management.
The Port of Liverpool is the enclosed 7.5 miles (12.1 km) dock system that runs from Brunswick Dock in Liverpool to Seaforth Dock, Seaforth, on the east side of the River Mersey and the Birkenhead Docks between Birkenhead and Wallasey on the west side of the river. Garston Docks, which are in the city of Liverpool, are not a part of the Port of Liverpool. The working docks are operated by Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, the docks to the south of the Pier Head in Liverpool are operated by British Waterways.
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