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Some account of the

and of the rise and progress of the
commercial Navy of Great Britain. 1834

SOURCE: The Saturday Magazine, No. 117. Supplement, April, 1834

The LONDON Docks, at Wapping, which were first opened in 1805, are another splendid instance of commercial enterprise. They were originally intended for vessels laden with wine, brandy, tobacco, and rice, respecting which they possessed exclusive privileges for a period of twenty years, but they are now not appropriated to any particular trade. It was found necessary to remove more than 1300 houses in constructing these docks, which embrace within the walls an area of 71 acres, about 25 of which are under water. The vaults and warehouses here are of extraordinary, dimensions. The largest, or, as it is called, the "Great Tobacco Warehouse," is calculated to contain 24,000 hogsheads of tobacco, and covers nearly five acres of ground. This enormous structure is wholly under the control of the officers of Government, the Dock Company merely receiving the warehouse charges. There are also other warehouses of immense extent. The vaults which extend under these buildings have long been classed amongst the "sights" of the metropolis,—more than 65,000 pipes of wine and spirits can be stowed in these vast cellars. The London Docks have accommodation for more than 200 merchantmen at one time. A new entrance, on a very improved plan, with a spacious basin and locks, 1200 feet in length, has recently been opened, nearly a mile lower down the river than the original entrance. This very important improvement was effected at a cost of 180,000l.; the capital of the Company exceeds 3,250,000l.

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