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The Doric Columns

The Victoria Dock Gates

Another important work contemplated by the Act of 1879 was the renewal of the dock gates. They had suffered injury from marine animals on the outside, where the water was purer than within the dock ; and from  wear and tear at the hinges it had become difficult to open and close them. New gates to be actuated by hydraulic pressure were provided in 1884. First came the construction of two entrances into the dock, one by a double lock with 3 gates of 2 leaves each, and another with a single 2-leaved gate ; and both entrances were furnished with Swinging Bridges. The sills or soles of the entrances were made to give a depth of 21 feet at high water of mean spring tides; but the sill of the south entrance was afterwards lowered five feet.


By these ships can be let out and in at the dock at any time whenever there is sufficient water for them outside. When first erected the lock forming the Northern Entrance had three gates, the middle 1 dividing it into two. This was intended to save water when a small ship passed through. Afterwards it was thought that the saving was of no great importance, and the middle gate was removed when the gates were renewed.

The southern entrance with only 1 gate is opened shortly before high water and closed again when the water has fallen a few feet. In order to admit to the dock ships of great draught of water the sill of the south entrance was lowered till it gave a depth of 26 feet at high water of ordinary spring tides, and a new gate worked by hydraulic machinery was provided.

Construction of the South Lock

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Last modified: 01/09/2013