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Structure Details
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Structure Name: South Dock: Hudson Dock

Docks including warehouses and the staiths of the Durham and Sunderland Railway.

Extant: Yes

Location: Sunderland, SUNDERLAND

Eastings: 441100m (view map)

Northings: 557240m (view map)

Position Accuracy: 500m

Positional Confidence: Absolute Certainty


Historical Background
'The Hudson (‘South') Dock at Sunderland, of 18 acres extent, was opened in 1850 by the Sunderland Dock Company, headed by George Hudson, the ‘Railway King' who became one of Sunderland's two Members of Parliament in 1845. A major part of the capital for the dock was supplied by the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway Company. The design of the dock was by John Murray, the River Wear Commissioners' Engineer, but Robert Stephenson, son of George and highly acclaimed in his own right as one of the leading engineers of the day, was employed as a consultant. The dock was practically built on the foreshore, the excavated material being dumped on the seaward side of the dock wall. Groynes were constructed, and some 20 acres of land reclaimed from the sea. Thirteen coal drops were provided, and the coal shipments of the Durham & Sunderland Railway, which by then formed part of Hudson's railway empire, were transferred from Low Quay to the new dock. The Londonderry Railway, from Seaham to Sunderland, was also led to the dock, and the YN & BR [York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway] (Hudson's), shipped all its coals there. By 1854, some 20 collieries were shipping coals from the Hudson Dock, and to further accommodate the increasing trade, the Hudson South Dock, a simple southward extension of Hudson Dock was opened in 1855, and a direct ‘Sea Outlet' for the combined docks was opened in 1856. Yet another southward extension, the Hendon Dock, was opened in 1868.'
[Stafford Linsley's annotation]


  • 1846   South Dock Company formed.
        Entities Involved:
              Sunderland Dock Company: Formed to build new dock.
              Murray, John: Engineer.
              Stephenson, Robert: Consultant engineer.
              York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway Co.: Provided major part of the capital for the dock.
  • 1850   Dock opened covering a total area of 47 acres, built largely on reclaimed land.
  • 1856   Dock enlarged to 66 acres.
  • 1856   Larger of the two grain warehouses built.
        Entities Involved:
              Dobson, John: Architect.
  • 1863   Smaller of the two grain warehouses built.
        Entities Involved:
              Meik, Thomas: Engineer.
  • 1864 - 1868   Hendon Dock added.
  • 1878   Sluicing system (used to give access to the sea) replaced.


  • Tyne and Wear SMR

The information displayed in this page has been derived from authoritative sources, including any referenced above. Although substantial efforts were made to verify this information, the SINE project cannot guarantee its correctness or completeness.


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Last Modified 26 March 2004
2002 SINE Project, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
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