During May 2023 while photographing the prestigious redevelopment of the Tobacco Warehouse, in Liverpool’s Stanley Dock, I was also given the opportunity to take some interior photographs of the yet undeveloped South Warehouse, as a personal project and historical document.
This beautiful Grade II listed warehouse nestles behind its bigger brother the Tobacco Warehouse, a roadway separates the two known locally as “Pneumonia Alley” because of the icy cold wind that blows between the two. Used originally for the storage of tobacco and rum the South Warehouse has remained largely empty and slowly decaying for many years.
As I stepped into the building I was immediately hit with a great sense of nostalgia. Sunlight filtered through the large, weathered windows, casting a golden glow on the interior. The warmth inside was not just a product of the sun’s rays but also a reflection of the building’s history. It illuminated the forgotten relics scattered throughout the space – decaying metalwork, frayed ropes, and musty book keeping records.
The South Warehouse is a significant historical site and forms part of the world’s largest and most complete system of historic docks. The dock was designed by the renowned architect Jesse Hartley and was officially opened on August 4, 1848. It consists of interconnected wet docks, which represent the culmination of Hartley’s innovative dock design.
Throughout the South Warehouse, a limited range of materials such as brick, stone, iron, and mortar were used in the construction of this vast industrial building, representing the pinnacle of Victorian-era dock architecture. This warehouse played a crucial role in storing imported rum and tobacco from exotic locations.
Among other notable buildings within the the Stanley Dock complex are the Tobacco Warehouse, designed by A.G. Lyster and built in 1900, is also a Grade II listed building, the North Warehouse (1852-1854) and the Victoria Tower (1848), all designed by Jesse Hartley and listed as Grade II heritage structures.
With thanks to Harcourt Developments for granting permission to photograph this stunning building.