The Thompson Graving Dock was constructed by the Belfast Harbour Commissioners and opened in 1911. It was designed to accommodate the new mammoth White Star liners Olympic and Titanic that had been built by Harland and Wolff.
The docks were ‘dry’ docks meaning that once ships were in the dock it would be emptied of water to allow work to take place on the hull that usually be below the waterline. This could include repairs to the hull or painting the underside.
The adjacent building to the Dock is the dock pump house and was used to pump out water from the dock.
The dock is 850 feet (259 metres) in length, exactly the length of the Olympic-class liners.
Do you want to learn more about the history of Belfast? See this site on my Titanic Quarter & Maritime Belfast tour!