Thompson Dock House, Harland and Wolff Shipyards, Belfast Harbour, Northern Ireland. 1911. 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.

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Text and photograph by Philip V. Allingham 2006. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


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

Last modified 9 August 2009