Spike Island Dock Entrance On River Mersey - Widnes, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 21.150 W 002° 43.866
30U E 517899 N 5911517
Quick Description: This river gauge is carved in stone at the entrance to Widnes Dock on Spike Island alongside the River Mersey.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 10/14/2016 12:43:42 PM
Waymark Code: WMT8GX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Ernmark
Views: 0

Long Description:
"Spike Island is an island in the estuary of the River Mersey and part of Widnes in the Borough of Halton in North West England.

The island was at the centre of the British Chemical industry during the 19th Century and part of the Industrial revolution. However by the 1970s the area contained abandoned chemical factories, rail lines, canal and industrial dockage, and extensive chemical pollution. Between 1975 and 1982 the Island was reclaimed and returned to green spaces." link

"Widnes Dock was located at the southern end of the 1833 St Helens & Runcorn Gap Railway (SH&RGR) on the Lancashire side (north) of the River Mersey. The Runcorn Gap was a narrow point on the river at which a ferry connected West Bank in Lancashire to Runcorn in Cheshire . The SH&RGR was built primarily to move coal from the St Helens coalfield to the River Mersey for onward movement by river. The railway was built as a competitor to the Sankey Canal which had opened in 1757 for exactly the same purpose.

When the SH&RGR was authorised on 29 May 1830 the Sankey Navigation Canal Company had realised that they would be at a disadvantage as the canal entered the river three miles to the east of Runcorn Gap at Fiddlers Ferry. They obtained authorisation at the same time as the railway was authorised to extend the canal to Runcorn Gap.

The Widnes Dock built using sandstone blocks was connected to the tidal River Mersey by a single lock. It was capable of taking vessels capable of carrying 70 tons. The railway ran directly to the dock and five loading ramps were provided that allowed coal wagons to be tipped directly into the boats. This was first facility of this kind in the world.". link
At this point the River Mersey starts to form an estuary onto the coast near the City of Liverpool and is tidal. Although the water level in the dock was kept level by the reservoir on spike island, the level of the Mersey at the entrance to the lock varies and this gauge record this. Since the dock closed the lock itself has been filled in and only the dock and these entrance walls remain.



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