Queen's Island Shipyard / Hamilton Dock

Queen's Island Shipyard / Hamilton Dock (HM2HUL)

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N 54° 36.383', W 5° 54.7'

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[Front]
Queen's Island
From Pleasure Garden to Shipyard

Queen's Island was created in 1847 when slobs from the digging of Victoria Channel were deposited on the Co. Down side of the Lagan Estuary.

Queen's Island was created in 1847 when slobs from the dredging of a deep channel, known as 'the first cut', were deposited on the County Down side of the Lagan Estuary.
The island was first known locally as Dargan's Island after William Dargan, who had led the dredging project. It was renamed Queen's Island to mark Queen Victoria's visit to Belfast in 1849. 'The first cut' was renamed Victoria Channel at the same time.
The island's first use was as a people's park, with a zoo, a Crystal Palace, gardens, and a bathing pond. In 1853 the Harbour Commissioners leased land on the island to shipbuilder Robert Hickson, who later employed the 23-year-old Edward Harland as manager.
In 1861 Edward Harland and Hamburg-born Gustav Wolff established what was to become the world's most successful shipyard. By 1875, Harland and Wolff had grown to a large yard employing more than 1,000 workers.
The Belfast Harbour Commissioners, established in 1847, were responsible for managing, developing and improving Belfast's port.
[Blue inset caption reads]
Crystal Palace



and pleasure garden in the early 1860s.
[Photo captions, left to right, read]
'Bird's Eye View of Belfast', by JH Connop, showing the location of Queen's Island in 1863.
Right The man on the Belfast Harbour Commissioners' seal symbolises the Lagan paying tribute to the city of Belfast, personified by the young woman with the Horn of Plenty for prosperity in one hand and the Caduceus as a symbol of commerce in the other.
Above After Harland and Wolff established their shipyard in 1861, part of Queen's Island continued to serve as a pleasure ground.
Left Feasts and festivals were common on Queen's Island. Ticket for the Commemoration of Queen Victoria's visit to Belfast.
Above In their shipyard, Harland and Wolff first built sailing ships such as the Aglaia, which was constructed in 1875 and sank near Montevideo in 1889.
Below Engineer William Dargan, after whom Dargan's Island was named, developed much of Ireland's railway network in the 19th century
Portrait of William Dargan (1799-1867), (detail)
Stephen Catterson Smith, 1806-1872

[Back]
Hamilton Dock
Concept and Controversy

'The income the Harbour Commissioners derive from the present iron shipbuilding yard, and the great amount of employment it affords, should render us anxious... to



foster the extension of the trade until... it becomes firmly and permanently established in Belfast...'

Robert Patterson, Harbour Commissioner,
Belfast News Letter, 26 November 1862.

Construction started on Hamilton Dock in 1864, following some controversy over its location.
A 'graving piece' was a piece of new timber that replaced a rotten one in a ship's wooden hull. This happened in a graving dock, which later became synonymous with 'dry dock'.
[Blue inset caption reads]

Harland and Wolff's extensive boiler shops were housed in this building.
[Photo captions, left to right, read]
Below
The Hamilton Dock was named in honour of James Hamilton, the Chairman of the Harbour Commissioners. It was opened on 2 October 1867 by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Marquis of Abercorn, who also named the Abercorn Basin.
Caricature appeared in Vanity Fair, 5 March 1881
Right, top Hamilton Dock was long enough to fit two ships comfortably at the same time.
Right, bottom A crane, which could lift two tons, was installed on rails at Hamilton Dock in 1872.
Details
HM NumberHM2HUL
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, June 16th, 2019 at 11:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)30U E 311952 N 6054888
Decimal Degrees54.60638333, -5.91166667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 54° 36.383', W 5° 54.7'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds54° 36' 22.98" N, 5° 54' 42" W
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