The 19th-century port
|Millwall Docks and the Royal Albert Dock|
The increase in trade in the late 19th century led to more improvements to the port. The Millwall Docks on the Isle of Dogs opened in 1868.
The owners hoped to rent the quayside sites to industrial firms.
The Finnish barque Ponape (1903) was typical of the hundreds of sailing ships carrying Baltic grain and timber to the Millwall Docks.
At first he used a barge and then a gigantic granary that could hold 24,000 tons. The McDougall's flour mill was built on the site of the original granary, which burnt down.
The need to expand
This was mainly because the Victoria dock was not deep enough and had too narrow an entrance for the largest steamships.
The Albert Dock was opened in 1880 and at the time was the largest dock in the world. It was designed to take vessels of up to 12,000 tons.
Three kilometres (1.75 miles) long, it contained more than 5000 metres (16,500 feet) of deep-water quays.
The Royal Albert Dock was at first used at the expense of the other docks in the port. This provoked the East and West India Docks Company (the two amalgamated in 1833) to build the Tilbury Dock.
It was situated more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) downriver from London.
The dock opened in 1886 but shipping was slow to transfer from the older docks. This was largely because of a boycott by London merchants, lightermen and wharfingers (wharf owners).
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