The Regent’s Canal and Dock Company constructed the Regent’s Canal Dock, also known as the Limehouse Basin, to connect the industrial trade from the Midlands to the City of London. It was originally constructed as a barge basin to be linked to the Grand Union Canal.
|Regent's Canal Dock. © NMM|
Regent’s Canal Dock was one of the few dock systems to admit colliers and by 1820, the coal trade was firmly established. Coal was transported from the north-east of England and then transhipped in lighters around the City of London. Other commodities that were imported and exported through Regent’s Canal Dock included Baltic timber, rice, Scotch soda, salt, fruit and ice.
|The City Basin, Regent's Canal. © NMM|
The Regent’s Canal Dock was built to assist the locking of barges between the canals and the Thames, and the transfer of goods between barge and ship. Therefore, smaller sea-going vessels frequented this dock system. It never really became a full trading dock, but was used as an ancillary dock to the larger dock systems that surrounded it.
|Dock gates for the Regent's Canal. © NMM|
The dock was frequented by a large number of colliers, lighters and narrow boats. This increased with the construction of ‘The New Ship Lock’, which allowed the larger steam colliers to enter the dock.
For a number of years, the British Waterway’s Board ran a passenger service from Birmingham through to Hamburg and other German and Norwegian ports using small coaster-type vessels. Today, the Limehouse Cut is used by rubbish barges going to refuse dumps in Essex.
|1812||The Regent’s Canal Act is passed allowing construction of the canal and barge basin|
|1819||The basin is enlarged to accommodate sea-going vessels|
|1820||Construction of the canal and dock is complete|
|1829||William Clay begins to use the dock for his salt cargo to avoid taxes at other docks|
|1836||The dock is enlarged|
|1865||The dock is enlarged eastwards|
|1868||'The New Ship Lock' is built|
|1917||The Regent’s Canal Basin entrance lock is overhauled|
|1924||A large concrete jetty is constructed from the north-east quay|
|1968||Old Limehouse Lock is filled in and a new connection is built between the Regent's Canal and the Limehouse Cut|
|1969||The British Waterway’s Board ceases to trade|
|1969||Regent’s Canal Dock closes|
|1970s||The entrance lock to the Limehouse Cut becomes unsafe and is filled in. Traffic is redirected into the Regent’s Canal Basin.|
|1994||The Limehouse Link Tunnel is constructed under Limehouse Basin|
|1994||An 80-berth service marina is constructed, now home of the Royal Cruising Association|
|1999||Residential accommodation is built around the dock|