The Queens Gardens masterplan will provide enticing open spaces, improved access and seating.
The Queens Gardens refurbishment will provide enticing open spaces, improved access and seating.

Historic Queens Dock set to be unearthed for first time in 60 years

Once the largest dock of its kind in the country, sections of the original dock edge walls of Queens Dock are set to be unearthed for the first time in 60 years this month as part of a £4.3m city centre project.

The sections of the dock edge were last seen in the 1960s, when the gardens were remodelled to a design created by the renowned architect and town planner, Sir Frederick Gibberd.

Work to unearth the old walls will begin next week.

Queens Gardens was created in the 1930s when the former Queens Dock was drained and filled in.

Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment and regeneration at Hull City Council, said: “These walls once were greeting docking ships and bidding farewell to those disembarking from Queens Dock, in what we now know as Queens Gardens.

“Our rich maritime history will play an important role in the refurbishment of the gardens, so it’s fantastic that we will be able to uncover and view the historic walls for the first time in so long this month.”

When Queens Dock was constructed in the 1770s, it was the largest of its kind in the country. It was the starting point for some of the first settlers in Western Australia, as well as not so successful voyages, such as a voyage to Canada which saw most of the crew killed by a local tribe and the captain kept as a slave for several years.

Queens Gardens is undergoing a £4.3m refurbishment that will see a new perimeter wall built around the boundary of the gardens.
The old dock walls will be incorporated in to the foundations for this new perimeter.

The £4.3m Queens Gardens refurbishment will improve accessibility and visitor flows, deliver structural repairs through rebuilding the perimeter walls, introduce bespoke pieces of public art, improve biodiversity and regenerate a much-loved open space.

The project will make the gardens fit for purpose, futureproofing the space and its ability to host large-scale events. The history of the gardens will be incorporated in its design, reconnecting it with the origins of the space as a former dock.

The Queens Gardens refurbishment is being funded by Hull City Council as part of the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project.

The Guildhall.
An electric vehicle charging point. Picture: Andrew Roberts