MAIN SECTIONS >  Home  Gloucester Docks  Sharpness Docks  G&S Canal  Vessels  People  Studies
GLOUCESTER PAGES >  Gloucester Docks  Warehouses  Other Buildings  Filming  For Visitors  Regeneration

Gloucester Docks &
the Sharpness Canal


Other Buildings at Gloucester

As well as the big warehouses, many smaller buildings around the docks survive from the days of commercial operation. This page provides brief information about the pumping engine house and workshops, various offices and houses, and the Mariners' Chapel. Further details are available on the following pages:

Custom House   Weigh-bridge House   Albion Cottages   Harbour House   Llanthony Mill

Dock Office
The Dock Office beside the Commercial Road entrance was the main administrative centre for the docks and the canal. Originally, it also included accommodation for the Canal Company's clerk, later occupied by the Gloucester Dock Master. British Waterways vacated the building in 1988 but returned in March 2008. Opposite the Dock Office is a drinking fountain installed by the Local Board of Health in 1863.

Engine House and Workshops

Engine house and dry docks at Gloucester Docks c1965

Engine house and dry docks c2000

The Engine House between the two dry docks dates from 1834 when a steam-powered pump was installed to raise water from the River Severn to help maintain the level in the canal during dry summers. The Engineering Workshops behind the Engine House were established in 1891 when staff and equipment were relocated from the earlier maintenance base at Saul Lodge. (Photo J.Mills)

An electric pump was installed in the Engine House in 1945, and some years later the chimney was demolished. The Workshops were used by British Waterways for maintaining their cargo-carrying vessels, tugs and maintenance craft until c1990. The buildings are currently used by T. Nielsen & Co. who specialise in maintaining historic sailing ships. (Photo T. Nielsen) (More on pumping)

Custom House
The former stone-fronted Custom House in Commercial Road was built in 1845 as the earlier establishment in town was not large enough for the amount of business being transacted. The building now houses the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum with an entrance from the docks into what was the rear of the premises. For photos and further information, click here. Beside the adjoining steps is the letter box from the former Docks Post Office in Commercial Road.

Merchant's Offices
The two buildings to the east of the Custom House were built in 1848 for use by businesses trading in the docks. Each had offices and some living accommodation on the upper floors fronting on to Commercial Road, with storage vaults underneath accessed from the docks. The upper part of the smaller building is now occupied by a solicitor, with the Gloucester Yacht Club below.

Lock and Bridge Houses
The house beside the lock was the home of the lock keeper, with an office on the end where the passage of boats was recorded and tolls were paid. The house beside Llanthony Bridge was the home of the bridgeman until it became part of the National Waterways Museum.

Weigh-bridge House
The small building beside the Southgate Street entrance was for a weigh-bridge on which wagons could be weighed before and after loading to measure the amount of material they were carrying. For further information, click here.

Albion Cottages
The two cottages just inside the Southgate Street entrance were bought by the Canal Co. in 1847 when the Midland Railway line into the docks was being laid to the east of them, cutting through the original owner's property. For many years, they were occupied by key employees. For photo and further information, click here.

Harbour House
The two storey building to the north of Alexandra Warehouse was built in 1888 as offices for the corn merchants Fox Clinch & Co. who occupied the two warehouses and malt-house nearby. It was linked to Alexandra Warehouse in 2002 to provide offices for British Waterways until they moved out in 2008. For photos and further information, click here.

Mariners Chapel

Mariners Chapel at Gloucester Docks in the 1880s

Mariners Chapel c2000

The Mariners' Chapel in the centre of the main docks area was built by public subscription and opened in 1849. The chaplain welcomed seamen visiting Gloucester, often going on board ships to spread the word of God, and he also cared for the interests of local boatmen and dockers. (Photo: Glos Collection)

The building is still used for worship by a small congregation of local people, and it is usually open to visitors during the day. Regular services are held on Sundays, and a special Sea Sunday service each July is usually attended by the Mayor and representatives of local organisations with maritime links.

Return to Top Menu   Copyright Hugh Conway-Jones 2003-13   Contact