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Dock Development, 1778-1914

Wilcox, Martin



David J. Starkey

Elisabeth Salter

Sarah McKeon


First paragraph:
Hull owes its existence to water transport. Located at the mouth of the River Hull, where the deep-water channel of the Humber sweeps along its north bank, it is a natural transhipment point, and although the town (as it is properly called until 1897, when Hull gained its city status) did become an industrial centre during the nineteenth century it was always first and foremost a port. Between 1778 and 1914 its scale and operations were revolutionised. At the beginning of the period it was simply a river port, exploiting the natural harbour of the River Hull, but thereafter the port was transformed, and with it the town. The growth of trade and the industries it fostered drove Hull’s economic development, and with it the expansion of its population and thus its urban sprawl. Meanwhile, the location of the various docks shaped the centre of the town, led its expansion east and west along the Humber and north along the Hull, and determined the location of its key industries. Through their influence the medieval town became a modern city.


Wilcox, M. (2017). Dock Development, 1778-1914. In D. J. Starkey, D. Atkinson, B. McDonagh, S. McKeon, & E. Salter (Eds.), Hull: Culture, History, Place (117-144). Liverpool University Press

Online Publication Date May 18, 2017
Publication Date Jul 1, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 1, 2023
Publisher Liverpool University Press
Pages 117-144
Book Title Hull: Culture, History, Place
Chapter Number 5
ISBN 9781781384190; 9781781384206
Public URL
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Copyright Statement
© Liverpool University Press. Reproduced with permission of the publisher and the author.
This copy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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