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Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit. - Brooks Atkinson
 

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Latest News arrow Bristol and Dublin's floating harbours - Nov 2010
Bristol and Dublin's floating harbours - Nov 2010 PDF Print E-mail
22 November 2010

 

When reading the study commissioned by Waterways Ireland, (HBA Dublin City Canal Study Jul 2010 and Dublin IWAI Canal Study Review) it’s difficult to picture how the heart of Dublin would look with a thriving community of boats visiting Grand Canal Docks (GCD) all year round.
 
If you feel like a break from winterizing, take a virtual tour of Bristol’s floating harbour regenerated as a modern day amenity.
 
The term ‘floating harbour’ or ‘floating dock’ came into being at the latter end of the eighteenth century to describe a pool of water, built specifically so boats did not dry out when the tide went out. The floating harbour in Bristol extends linearly to over 70 acres three times the size of Dublin’s floating harbour, which was opened in 1796 at GCD. In Bristol the harbour was created in its current form by a creative use of dams, locks and changes to the course of the River Avon. James Smeaton and William Jessop (both of Grand Canal fame), were involved in this enterprise when it started in 1802 and opened in 1809.
 
Times change and ships have used the docks built elsewhere and at Avonmouth for a number of years. But this harbour in Bristol at the western end of the city has been effectively regenerated and is now a haven for boats from the sea and the inland waterways. Today, many people are employed in the area both on and off the water. It is a tourist attraction, leisure and research centre, business centre, liveaboard community with boatyard and chandlery and much more. Various events are organized throughout the year including the annual Harbour Festival in July.
 
Below are links to some photos from the Festival in 2009 which attracted over 200,000 people. There are glimpses of all kinds of craft, old and new, sea-going, river and canal, motor, steam and sail, all moored in the floating dock, set against a background of refurbished dockside buildings and new apartments and offices built since the 1980s.
 
This new website was developed last year Bristol Floating Harbour. On the Severn Shipping site are images of boats attending the festivals see examples
The archeologist, broadcaster and writer Julian Roberts demonstrates how the docks were developed over time in Building Bristol Floating Harbour video.
 
Navigation information is available from Bristol City navigation info
Last Updated ( 02 December 2010 )
 
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