Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Basin

Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby gunter » Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:45 pm

I came across a biography of one Bindon Blood Stoney (I kid you not) one of the chief engineers of Dublin Port in the mid 19th century, and it appears that there is another significant graving dock located at the north west corner of Alexandra Basin, behind the boundary on East Wall Road.

This is a construction drawing of Graving Dock no. 1, which was begun about 1853 and opened on 9 February 1860.

Image

This graving dock fell into disrepair after a second, bigger, graving dock was built as recently as the 1950s. Apparently the proposal now is to fill in Stoney's granite Victorian graving dock with sand to preserve it and facilitate redevelopment.

Stoney was apparently also the man behind that huge iron diving bell contraption which sits on the south campshire at Sir John Rogerson's Quay. This was a dredging work station which was lowered to the river bed and pressurized to allow labourers to manually dig the river bed and prepare an even surface to receive giant precast blocks of quay wall.

Image
I will look at this thing with new respect the next time I go past.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:13 am

I didnt know of the graving dock, but I did know about the bell....

the dock is pretty impressive but obviously not used - judging by the amount of rubbish behind the gates in these shots

would love to see it close-up before its filled in
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby johnglas » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:40 pm

Great pics - I've always been fascinated by these graving docks (we have a series of them here), but they seem to be prone to the vagaries of the ship repair market and no-one seems to have a clue what to do with them once they're no longer needed for their primary purpose. Yet, as artifacts they are superb (apart from their intrinsic historic value) and they seem to be crying out for active use. Aquarium? Exhibition space? Workshops/offices? (All assuming the ability to roof them over and successfully dealing with the small question of the sea wanting to rush in!)
Alternatively, they could be used as a 'feature' framed by development on either side.
The worst thing to do is to fill them in and pretend they never existed.
Project anyone?
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:54 pm

Varanasi on the Liffey?

gunter wrote:fill in Stoney's granite Victorian graving dock with sand to preserve it and facilitate redevelopment.


Does not compute. First we get 'preservation by record', now preservation by burial?

This is a pretty remarkable piece of Victorian engineering. It should be a centrepiece of any redevelopment, not a foundation.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby gunter » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:52 pm

ctesiphon wrote:Does not compute. First we get 'preservation by record', now preservation by burial?

This is a pretty remarkable piece of Victorian engineering. It should be a centrepiece of any redevelopment, not a foundation.


The filling in with sand was secondhand information, may not be reliable, although filling in things does sound like the prefered modus operandi of Dublin Port Company, at the moment.

On re-reading the article, I think Bindon B. Stoney over-saw the construction of the graving dock, but it may have been designed by George Halpin II.

It's supposed to be 80 feet wide (not sure is that at the top or the bottom) and 400 feet long, being built to accommodate the latest mail steamers. Apparently it cost over £116,000 back in the day and it only went out of service in 1989!

I agree that it would be nice to think that someting this impressive would merit a better fate than to be back filled and forgotten, but surely the ideal solution is to fix the gates and keep it in use! Do you not have to paint the bottom of boats any more?
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:08 pm

btw this building is named after Bindon Blood Stoney

Image

And here is more of his work
http://archiseek.com/2012/1879-design-f ... JvRIsXA914
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:53 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:btw this building is named after Bindon Blood Stoney


Aah- I wondered.

My first guess was something to do with bankers...
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Re: Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Basin

Postby Bago » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:17 pm

The street that runs perpendicular to the river is also called blood stoney street.

The graving dock could make a great outdoor swimming pool!
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby ihateawake » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:57 pm

ctesiphon wrote:my First Guess Was Something To Do With Bankers...


Ha!:D
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Dublin7 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:17 am

Re: Phibsboro dry dock, it was at one time the property used by the Phibsboro 19 th ("Panama")Scout troop. I was in that scout troop back in the late '60's-early '70's. When we were kids, we thought it was an empty swimming pool ! I seem to remember the prison turned it into a parking lot for the officers.
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Re: Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Basin

Postby PTB » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:36 am

Interesting to note from the birds eye images that the southern aspect was taken well before or after the other aspects given the ships in the larger graving dock are different. Always thought they were taken at the same time.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby poukai » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:09 pm

gunter wrote:Stoney was apparently also the man behind that huge iron diving bell contraption which sits on the south campshire at Sir John Rogerson's Quay. This was a dredging work station which was lowered to the river bed and pressurized to allow labourers to manually dig the river bed and prepare an even surface to receive giant precast blocks of quay wall.

Image
I will look at this thing with new respect the next time I go past.


Wow, thanks a mil for that little pearl of information, I have been wondering what on earth that thing was for ages, impressive stuff, must have been quite a horrible job... :)
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby tommyt » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:23 pm

That's an incredible piece of kit. There was a hole cut into it when it was restored 8/9 years ago and the iron is about 4 inches thick!
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Re: Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Basin

Postby y2jireland » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:04 pm

Anyone have any information on the constructional make up of the dock walls and/or the graving docks down in grand canal basin? I have information on the later dock walls built 1871 but have nothing for GCD which was completed 1796! Would welcome any suggestions...
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Re: Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Basin

Postby Adolf Luas » Sat May 01, 2010 8:03 pm

I visited the site of the Graving Docks today and found that the third dock that had recently been excavated has been completely filled in. Maybe it wasn't filled in but has gone altogether. There is some clearing of the site going on. Does anyone know exactly what became of the third dock? When I last saw it, which wasn't too long ago, a lot of the individual pieces of cut stone had been numbered in yellow paint.
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Re: Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Basin

Postby igy » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:39 pm

It seems all 3 of these are filled in now, what gives?
There was an implication earlier in the thread that the two surviving docks were protected?
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Re: Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Basin

Postby igy » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:05 pm

I think I'm mistaken about my previous post, looks like there's still something there, but (when viewed from the West) they've blocked off the dock entrances so you can't see them properly.
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Re: Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Bas

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:33 pm

recently updated pictures on google showing the Grand Canal Dock ones you can just see the inlet in the bottom left of image of the former third one.

gravingdocks.jpg
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Re: Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Bas

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:47 pm

The Alexandra Graving Dock is gone
compare before and after aerial shots

alexandragraving.jpg
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Re: Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Bas

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:49 pm

edevelopment of Alexandra Basin comprising infill of Graving Dock, extension of Berth, remediation of Basin, construction of 5 New Berths and re-engineering of North Quay Extension, Dublin
http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/PC0154.htm
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