Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester and Merseyside streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look today.

Our main image this week shows Prince’s Dock, Liverpool in January 1966 looking towards the Royal Liver Building.

Two dockers stand and chat on the cobblestones, silhouetted against the low, bright winter sun in photographer Stephen Shakeshaft’s striking composition.

Much has changed in half a century as Nicola Mazzuia’s modern image shows. Wharfs and warehouses have been replaced by modern office blocks, hotels and flats.

Construction on the original dock started in 1810 after consultations with leading engineers William Jessop and John Rennie. Liverpool Corporation’s senior surveyor, John Foster, took charge of the work.



The dock was officially opened on the same day as the coronation of the Prince Regent as George VI, although it kept the prince’s former title as its name.

Prince’s Dock, connected to Prince’s Half-Tide Dock to the north, is linked to the southern half of the dock system via George’s Basin and George’s Dock.

The final ferry left Prince’s Dock in November 1981 when P&O Ferries stopped their overnight sailings to Belfast. The dock was then closed to shipping.

Redevelopment got under way in 1988 when the Merseyside Development Corporation took ownership. The £24 million Malmaison hotel opened in 2007.

The dock was partially filled in, allowing access to canal boats but not deep-water vessels.

The distinctive pedestrian bridge, dividing the dock into two sections, was designed by the Centre for Architectural Research and Consultancy Unit at Liverpool John Moores University.