11-12-17 Leeds Dock

Leeds Dock – The dock was constructed for boats using the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation to tranship goods and commodities from Leeds city centre in 1843. It was primarily used to bring coal from collieries around Rothwell and Wakefield to supply heavy industries in Hunslet and business and commerce in Leeds city centre. The western side of the dock once had a large crane on tracks along the side of the dock to load and unload goods from canal barges. In the 1990s the surrounding area was made up of Victorian industrial buildings most of which were derelict. Throughout the second half of the 20th century the area suffered steady industrial decline. The mills and many heavy engineering works began to close, move further out of town or scale down. The docks survived Victorian canal decline after the introduction of rail freight but the move to road freight in the 20th century killed trade.

Leeds Dock is the home of the Royal Armouries Museum, a major national museum. The site attracts around 1.5 million visitors a year.

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