Thompson Dock House, Harland and Wolff Shipyards, Belfast Harbour, Northern Ireland. 1911. Text and photograph by Philip V. Allingham 2006. This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.

Once a proud symbol of Belfast's thriving shipbuilding trade on the River Lagan, the massive Thompson Dockhouse is yet another reminder of the city's declining industrial base. It is also a revant of the ill-fated Titanic and her more successful sisters, Olympic and Britannic, for all three utilized the world's largest dry dock facilities at the time, designed by Redfern Kelly, the Harbour Engineer. Technically, the building is a pumphouse, capable of eliminating 26 million gallons of water from the drydock in just two hours (that volume is equal two draining an olympic-size swimming pool every two minutes over the course of 120 minutes). The industrial facility is slated for a heritage restoration over the next six years.

Related Material


Brett, C. E. B. Buildings of Belfast, 1700-1914. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967.

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Last modified 9 August 2009