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1800-1820

Netlam and Giles map shows the waterfront in 1815, and shows that the building of the Aire and Calder Navigation and the Leeds and Liverpool canal have brought many changes to the waterfront.

The Canal Basin
The Canal Basin was built in 1815-1820 as an extension to the terminus of the Leeds and Liverpool canal, and was surrounded by warehouses, and wharfs for loading and unloading cargoes of stone and slate. The dock built in 1790 was a wet dock with access to a dry dock. In 1820 another dry dock was built downstream from this.

A boat entered the flooded dry dock, the water was drained leaving the boat standing on supports. The underside of the boat was then accessible for cleaning and coating with tar. This process was known as graving, and sometimes these docks are shown on maps as 'graving docks'.

Later, from 1860 to 1873 between the dry dock and the river there was a boatyard run by William Rider & Co. Barges were built and repaired here, and the photograph shows the dock in 1951. Another job which had to be done on the barges was caulking the timbers.

Occasionally the canal basin was also a place where popular entertainments were put on, as was reported in the Leeds newspaper the Intelligencer in November 1823.

East of Leeds Bridge.
With the increase in trade at the beginning of the 19th century, the Aire and Calder Navigation Company expanded, and built a new dock and warehouses on the south bank of the river in 1815-1820. The dock was covered, and had wharves on either side. The picture shows the dock in 1950, but it would have looked very much the same as this in the 19th century, with bales and barrels on the wharves.

School Close and the north and south banks
The area in the bend in the river is now shown as 'School Close'. Neville Street has been built across it from north to south, and Sandford Street leads to a ford across the river, just below the Upper Weir. There was also considerable development to the south of the river, along Meadow Lane and Hunslet Lane. both to the east and the west of the bridge. Mills and warehouses were built in the fields and gardens between St. Peter's church and the river.













Click images to enlarge
Map of Leeds, 1815
Map of Leeds, 1815
Canal Basin, 1821
Canal Basin, 1821
Rider's Boat Yard, 1951
Rider's Boat Yard, 1951
Caulking seams on a barge, 1937
Caulking seams on a barge, 1937
From the Intelligencer, 20th November, 1823
From the Intelligencer, 20th November, 1823
Map of the Aire and Calder Dock, 1821
Map of the Aire and Calder Dock, 1821
Aire and Calder Dock, 1950
Aire and Calder Dock, 1950




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© 2003 Leeds City Council | Site created by: LCC electronic information team | 25 March 2003