I can’t exactly recall the first time I visited Glasson, an historic 18th century dock but it would have certainly been in the summer of 2012. I had just started to cover the north west for the heritage team in the same year, but it had me on first sight.
Big sky, gentle sea, bobbing boats, a distant horizon and most of all, a peacefulness. A place where you could take a breather! I did, along with leather-clad bikers and chipper ramblers, sipping tea and filling up with bacon sandwiches from the static caravan perked up in front of the marina.
Glasson Dock developed as a settlement on the bank of the Lune Estuary during the 18th and 19th centuries. At this stage the combination of silting of the river corridor, along with then increasing size of ships meant that navigation up the river to Lancaster was becoming increasingly difficult. Therefore in 1779 the Lancaster port commission decided to build a dock at Glasson. The port commission purchased land in 1780, and completed the dock in 1787 under the supervision of Thomas Morris.
Further expansion occurred in the early 19th century when the docks were connected by a branch to the Lancaster Canal. The canal terminates in a substantial canal basin, which is connected to the dock by way of a lock. The site has interest for a number of reasons, retaining much of its historic mechanism and structure; it is a comparatively unspoiled and rare example of a 18th and 19th century commercial dock.
The Canal & River Trust manage the lock and it is designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. This means that it is a structure of national importance and must be retained for future generations so they can enjoy like we do today. It has it all as far as I’m concerned, a place where the sea, estuary, canal and history come together. Definitely worth a visit.
Audrey O’Connor, heritage team, Canal & River Trust
The work carried out by the heritage team is extremely varied, covering all sorts of structures and a wide variety of projects. Not one week is the same and we keep learning all the time, meeting some fascinating people and visiting stunning places along the way. We are hoping that through our blogs we can share some of our passion for the amazing industrial heritage of the inland waterways.See more blogs from this author