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IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Before the ‘Three Graces’

This late 19th century image shows the George’s Dock just before the end of its working life. Designed by dock engineer, Henry Berry and named after King George lll, the dock opened in 1771 and initially was used by ships in the American and Caribbean trades. The dock was filled in between 1899-1900 and its place taken by the Pier Head and the ‘Three Graces’. The photograph shows St Nicholas church in the background as well as part of the Goree Warehouses. Initially built in 1793, the warehouses were badly damaged in a disastrous fire in 1806 but were rebuilt only to be destroyed by the Luftwaffe during WW2. Demolition began in 1948 with the final section falling to the wrecking ball ten years later. Although the warehouses took their name from a slave island off the coast of Senegal, West Africa, tales of slaves being manacled to iron rings here are an ‘urban myth’ spun to unsuspecting tourists by local taxi-drivers and others: 21 years before the Goree warehouses were built, it had been decreed that a slave became free as soon as their feet touched English soil.