Royal Albert Dock

Royal Albert Dock

The Royal Albert Dock is one of three docks in the Royal Group of Docks of east London, now part of the redeveloped Docklands.


The dock was constructed to the east of the earlier Victoria Dock by the St Katharine and London dock companies and opened in 1880. It was even larger than the Victoria, with over 3 miles of quay, and an entrance to the Thames far down river at Gallions Reach. To the south at the western end were two dry docks and machine shops used for ship repairs by R & H Green & Silley Weir (later River Thames Shiprepairs Ltd).

The dock closed to commercial traffic along with the other Royal Docks in the 1980s. The dock itself still exists and is now used chiefly for watersports and as a rowing course, although it is occasionally transited by ships on their way to the Royal Victoria Dock and exhibitions at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre.


The major feature of the dock today is London City Airport, whose single runway has been constructed the length of the south side of the dock, with the dock forming the northern boundary of the airport. The filled dry docks and ship repair works site lie under the runway. Aircraft movements are clearly visible across the dock from the largely accessible north quayside.

Transport links on the north side of the dock have been greatly improved with new roads and the Docklands Light Railway Beckton line running the length of the dock. From the dock's western end the London Regatta Centre, a major rowing club (with the Yi-Ban Chinese restaurant on top of its clubhouse building) is followed by the Building 1000 office development (Royals Business Park), which until July 2007 had stood vacant for three years since completion apart from being used for several film shoots. Building 1000 is now owned by London Borough of Newham who will be relocating 2,500 of its staff to the building from April 2008. A large parcel of undeveloped land, used for overflow car parking from the Excel exhibition centre and interrupting pedestrian access to the dock edge follows, which surprisingly contains a short aircraft runway used for the 2007 and 2008 Red Bull Air Race in London. At the eastern end of the north quayside is the University of East London Docklands Campus, opened in 1999. Adjacent to the campus is the London Regatta Centre.

ee also

* Albert Dock Seamen's Hospital - initial site for the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Hospital for Tropical Disease, situated as they were close to the disembarkation point from the British Empire.

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