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Dundee, Camperdown Street, Victoria Dock

Dock (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dundee, Camperdown Street, Victoria Dock

Classification Dock (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Hms Unicorn; Dundee Harbour; Port Of Dundee; River Tay; Firth Of Tay; H.m. Submarine Base, Hms Ambrose

Canmore ID 33552

Site Number NO43SW 89

NGR NO 40958 30366

NGR Description Centred NO 40958 30366

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Dundee, City Of
  • Parish Dundee (Dundee, City Of)
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District City Of Dundee
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO43SW 89.00 centred 40958 30366

NO43SW 89.01 41193 30467 Victoria Dock, Swing Footbridge

NO43SW 89.02 41216 30472 Victoria Dock, Swing Bridge

NO43SW 89.03 41089 30516 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed 26

NO43SW 89.04 41137 30485 Victoria Dock, South Shed

NO43SW 89.05 41182 30553 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed 25

NO43SW 89.06 40764 30408 Victoria Dock, Entrance gates and gatepiers

NO43SW 89.07 41113 30533 Victoria Dock, Harbour Warehouse

NO43SW 89.08 40989 30463 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed 27

NO43SW 89.09 40965 30460 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.10 Cancelled: see NO43SW 89.11

NO43SW 89.11 40935 30434 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.12 40910 30432 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.13 40896 30425 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.14 40876 30404 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.15 40876 30404 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.16 40868 30410 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.17 40857 30405 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.18 40845 30399 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.19 40834 30393 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.20 40813 30380 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.21 40808 30368 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.22 40793 30370 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.23 40781 30364 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

NO43SW 89.24 40770 30358 Victoria Dock, Transit Shed (Transit Sheds 26-30)

For comprehensive history of early docks at Dundee, see under NO42NW 22.00.

For general summary of Dundee Harbour and the Port of Dundee, see NO43SW 109.

For adjoining (to NE) Camperdown Dock (centred NO 41322 30540), see NO43SW 90.00.

For adjoining and associated dry dock ('East Graving Dock': NO 41151 30413) and Pump House (NO 41216 30418), see NO43SW 122.00 and NO43SW 122.01, respectively.

For adjacent Royal Naval Reserve training centre (HMS Camperdown), see NO43SW 712.

For preserved frigate and museum ship HMS Unicorn (NO c. 40843 30246), see NO43SW 8014.

The preserved frigate HMS Unicorn (NO43SW 8014) remains afloat in the S corner of this dock.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 21 April 2006.


Desk Based Assessment (2001)

The site is part of the important Dundee Harbour area; an outstanding example of a Victorian industrial and harbour complex, containing 11 listed buildings… None of the listed buildings lie within the proposed City Quay development and the existing buildings on the site are recent and of little importance… The Camperdown, Victoria and East Graving Docks are considered of outstanding importance, while the dock gates of Camperdown Dock, and the quay at Queen Elizabeth Wharf are considered important, although the wooden extension to the latter is considered neutral… No dockside furniture of importance is noted…

Nevertheless, the various alterations to the river frontage quaysides (the original dockside frontage of 1859, the Low Water Jetty of 1884, and the Camperdown West Wharf of 1893) could lie behind the existing Queen Elizabeth Wharf, as could the original south-west corner of Camperdown Dock. The sites of the five former slipways and the foundations of the Victorian warehouses (Sheds L, M, P, Q), of the crane at the original south-west corner of Camperdown Dock, and of the two sites of the harbour lights at the entrance to the dock may also lie under the present ground surface. Original setts of the dockside surface survive in places and the course of the railway lines may be apparent in them.

A desk-based assessment was conducted for this area, and the site was visited by representatives of SUAT Ltd on 17th January 2001. This rapid walk-over survey allowed SUAT Ltd to ascertain what features of importance were visible on the surface. Whilst it is true to say this area of the docks has suffered very badly from previous development and clearance works, a few important features were still visible. These included several small expanses of cobbled setts. Their distribution suggested that they were surviving in-between areas occupied by roads and old building footings. Around the Pump House, not affected by this phase of development, lay a well-preserved area of cobbled track, which provided an example of the original nature of these surfaces. Some rail lines were still visible adjacent to the area marked as 'compound'… The remains of two slipways could be seen in the quay wall where they would originally have exited into the Tay. These had been filled in.

Information from unpublished SUAT Reports, 2001

City Quay, Dundee: Archaeological Survey.

Desk-Based Assessment of a Development at City Quay, Dundee.

Desk Based Assessment (September 2005)

An archaeological desk based assessment was undertaken by Headland Archaeology of a parcel of land at the South Wharf, City Quay, Dundee. The study was commissioned by FM Developments. Information regarding the archaeological potential of the site was required by the planning authority in advance of determination of the planning application.

D Atkinson 2005

Publication Account (2013)

VICTORIA DOCK (CITY QUAY): Land reclamation began in 1833 with formation of a south breakwater, Marine Parade. The 10¾ acre wet dock was completed in 1869-75. A retail, housing and leisure development is underway by Forth Properties Ltd, to a conservation plan and masterplan. Victoria Dock is lined on its north side by transit sheds for the rapid transfer of goods like jute. The north face is of large bricks with regular ashlar-framed openings for security while the dock side was a continuous series of sliding doors between cast iron columns that double as downpipes bearing the face of the harbour engineer (David Cunningham had just succeeded Charles Ower). The roofs of wrought iron trusses curve down where each party wall has settled into the made-up ground. The sheds are adaptively re-used, an extension made into the dock to allow shoppers to cross two sides of a street. At the east end, Clock Tower or Harbour Warehouse (NO 41113 30533, NO43SW 89.07) is a tall

iron-framed granary of 1877, now loft apartments. A prominent clock tower at one end and a lift shaft at the other gave the opportunity for a new

set of balconies. The columns have dividers for loose bulk goods at upper levels on substantial Hodgekinson beams.

M Watson, 2013


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