Queen's Island Shipyard / Belfast's Industrial Growth
From Pleasure Garden to Shipyard
Edward Harland and Gustav Wolff's shipyard, which would go on to become the most successful in the world, was established in 1861.
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The first modern passenger liner Oceanic, launched by Harland and Wolff in 1870, was powered by a combination of steam and sail and boasted such luxuries as promenade decks and baths with running water.
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Above Edward Harland and Gustav Wolff
Below Holywood's lighthouse provided essential guidance for the many ships navigating Belfast Lough's busy shipping lanes
Above These plans demonstrated how the shipyard developed over a 12 year period. By 1874, Hamilton Dock and Abercorn Basin had been constructed and a number of extra slipways had appeared.
Above, top The spectacle of a ship being launched from its slipway always drew crowds. Here people are watching from the muddy banks of the Lagan as Norah Graeme is launched from Queen's Island in 1858.
Above White Star Line's Oceanic,
When the construction of Hamilton Graving Dock commenced in 1864, Belfast was experiencing unprecedented growth in industry. Between 1821 and 1901, Belfast developed more quickly than any other British city.
A massive workforce was required to meet the demands of developing businesses. The population of the city had trebled between 1821 and 1861 to over 120,000.
Linen manufacturing was Belfast's main industry during the mid 1800s. By 1870, over 50,000 people (mostly women) were employed at the linen mills - almost half the city's population. Improvements to the River Lagan in the 1840s had aided the expansion of Belfast's fledgling shipbuilding industry, which was well underway by the 1860s.
The population of Belfast trebled between 1821 and 1861 to over 120,000.
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By 1861, the year Harland and Wolff's shipyard was established, Belfast's shipbuilding industry had spread to both sides of the River Lagan.
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This Ordnance Survey map from 1833 predates the formation of Queen's Island.
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Queen's Bridge, c.1861
Above, right The original course of the [R]iver Lagan is shown in blue. The river was straightened by excavating a new channel
Background Belfast Harbour Office, c.1857
Below Belfast developed more quickly than any other British city between 1821 and 1901. At this time, most of its population was concentrated on the western bank of the Lagan.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1861.
Location. 54° 36.381′ N, 5° 54.7′ W. Marker is in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Marker is on Queens Road, on the left when traveling north. Part of the Titanic Belfast complex. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Hamilton Dock, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT3 9DT, United Kingdom. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Queen's Island Shipyard / Hamilton Dock (here, next to this marker); Building the Dock 1864-1867 / Belfast's Industrial Growth (here, next to this marker); Building the Dock 1864-1867 / Hamilton Dock (here, next to this marker); Hamilton Dock Stone Construction (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Hamilton Dock Stone Construction (a few steps from this marker); Nomadic in Hamilton Dock (a few steps from this marker); Operating the [Hamilton] Dock
Also see . . .
1. Shipbuilding in Belfast. (Submitted on June 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Shipbuilding - Story of Belfast. (Submitted on June 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Ulster Linen - Story of Belfast. (Submitted on June 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Linenopolis: the rise of the textile industry. (Submitted on June 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 15, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 15, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.