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Gloucester Docks &
the Sharpness Canal


Sharpness Buildings

While the construction of the New Dock was nearing completion in the mid 1870s, a start was made on building warehouses to store imports, and more were added in later years as the throughput of the port increased. As the dock was in an area with little existing population, houses, shops and other facilities were also provided for the community of key workers connected with the dock.


The original warehouses on the south-east side of the New Dock were multi-storey buildings intended for storing grain. Each had an associated steam engine to power conveyors and elevators that moved the grain in bulk to the required floor. Learning from the practice at other ports, later storage buildings were single storey sheds, some being used for guano imported as a fertilizer. (Photo GA)

The North Warehouse, seen behind MV Santa Maria, is the only surviving large warehouse, and that is under threat as it does not meet modern storage requirements. The grain silo replaced a big warehouse and adjoining store that were destroyed by a spectacular fire in 1934. Two other large warehouses and several smaller buildings have been demolished to make way for more modern facilities.

Other Buildings
     Other buildings around the dock estate included houses for Dock Co. workers, railwaymen, customs officers and employees of local businesses. In addition there were several shops, a church and the Sharpness Hotel. Further houses were built to the south of the dock estate in what became known as Newtown. Many of the houses and shops near the docks have been demolished in recent years, but those remaining in Dock Road show an interesting gradation of status from the detached house of the Dock Manager to the terraced houses of the workers. The former Sharpness Hotel is now the Sharpness Dockers Club.

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