The importance of being… Stanley

Ambition, life and global recognition: this is what Stanley Dock brought to the City of Liverpool when it opened in 1848.

Consequently, Liverpool became one of the greatest international seaports in the mid 19th century and enforced its place as a key contributor to the global industrial economy.

Taking the popular name Stanley from the influential Stanley family, known not only in the city but internationally, the Dock offered hope and prosperity.

Drawing of Stanley Dock

Jesse Hartley, the first professional Dock engineer in the world, employed these attributes in his flawless design of Stanley Dock and adjacent warehouses.

The scale of the warehouses and the goods stored within also reflected the ambition of Liverpool’s Dock Committee and the commercial might of Liverpool’s port.

Heritage consultant for Titanic Hotel Liverpool, John Hinchliffe, said:

“Ambition ran throughout Stanley Dock and this is clearly apparent from its amazing achievements.

“It became the first dock in the world to have multi-modal transport connections as the port connected directly to the canal and railway systems.

“Through initiative and innovation, Stanley Dock played a key factor in putting the City of Liverpool on the global map and made history with its world class technological developments. Out of the 25 docks in Liverpool in the mid-19th century, Stanley Dock was regularly one of the top five most profitable.

“The dock is a fundamental part of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site and as such, UNESCO has agreed that it is a site of outstanding universal value in the cultural evolution of the world.”

Sleeping giant

As years passed the economy of Liverpool faced a period of growth and then decline, since its closure in 1985, Stanley Dock has remained a sleeping giant for 30 years.

People within Liverpool have tried to bring aspects of the Dock back to life throughout various ventures including the Heritage Market and the Stop The Rot campaign but to no long-term avail, until now.

Stanley Dock has been waiting for a second chance to show it can make more history for Liverpool.

And so onto 2014, the year in which a multi-million pound development is hoping to bring the same maverick vision to Stanley Dock that was employed over a hundred and fifty years ago; Titanic Hotel Liverpool.

Heritage consultant John Hinchcliffe, continued:

“The current developments looking to take place at Stanley Dock demonstrate a similar ambition and commitment to when the Dock first came to life.

“The new owners are investing massively in the city’s maritime heritage for the benefit of the future, to utilising that heritage as an attraction for visitors and as a catalyst for regeneration, not just of these historic structures themselves but for the whole city. It is just inspiring and should become an international exemplar of heritage-led regeneration.

“By regenerating Stanley Dock, the history from our ancestors who built and worked at the warehouses will be conserved, presented and become a fascinating educational resource for the people of today.”


The regeneration of Stanley Dock began in January 2013 with the conversion of the North Warehouse into Titanic Hotel Liverpool, a luxury hotel adjoining events and exhibition space, Rum Warehouse.

With a number of staff at the hotel following in their ancestors foot steps by taking up positions at the new 153-bed luxury hotel, restaurant, bar or spa, it’s these people that will be the leading light for the next chapter in the Stanley story, says General Manager Greg Place.

Greg said:

“The team and I are really passionate about our work. We are not just renovating a hotel, we are working together to regenerate such a much-loved historic area of Liverpool in the most sympathetic way possible.

“The hotel will not only be generous in size but it will be completely out of the ordinary in terms of offer and approach, for example we have kept so many original features but brought in the most modern technologies. Our staff will be dressed smartly but casually, alluding to the heritage and work ethic of the dockers that worked here all those years ago.

“We want our staff to work alongside us to be the pioneers for the new generation of Stanley Dock, much like our ancestors and we simply cannot wait to unveil it to the world.”

Titanic Hotel Liverpool which opens in June for IFB events and to the public in July 2014.

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