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Published On: Mon, Mar 24th, 2014

A Working History: The Iconic Gloucester Docks Complex Stands the Test of Time

Gloucester docks came to prominence after the canal company built a warehouse at the north end of the Main Basin to welcoming incoming ships and boats that were laden with cargo that could then be transported inland to major industrial locations throughout the midlands.

It is a testament to the historical importance of the docks and the quality of the warehouse construction methods employed at the time, that an amazing sixteen of the 24 now Listed buildings within the current docks complex are the original massive red-brick warehouses that were built between 1826 and 1873.

Gloucester Docks at Dusk  2003 photo Mike Baldwin

Gloucester Docks at Dusk 2003 photo Mike Baldwin

Modern offices

Gloucester docks offers a number of attractions to visitors today but it is certainly fitting when you consider its history that the north warehouse is a centre for commerce, offering the chance to run a business and work within an iconic and historical building that also provides stunning waterside views as well.

The Gloucester Docks North Warehouse Business Centre was converted by the City Council for office use about 20 years ago and occupies a prominent position that is at the very heart of the thriving Gloucester Docks area which has proved such an attraction for visitors to the area.

There is a diverse mix of different businesses operating in the development and many are stylishly furnished using ergonomic and efficient desks, chairs and furniture supplied by companies such as Rapid Office.

Modern use

A particularly attractive feature about Gloucester Docks is that it still offers visitors the opportunity to witness a virtually complete example of what was once a thriving Victorian port, whilst engaging them with all the modern amenities and giving them the chance to soak up the culture and history of the place at the same time.

What you will see when you are standing in the heart of the docks is a constantly-changing selection of narrow boats and impressive motor cruisers in the very spot where grand ships once discharged their valuable cargo, and you may even witness the occasional yacht or tall ship while you are there.

Things to see and do

Working within business premises situated at Gloucester Docks is made more pleasurable not just by the surroundings but also by the fact that you have so many amenities and places of interest to take in when you are away from the office, such as:

Waterways museum

The Gloucester Waterways Museum takes up three floors of the Llanthony warehouse and provides a fascinating insight into what life was like on Britain’s inland waterways through history and there are also some historical craft like a steam dredger moored by the quay side to take a look at.

Designer outlet centre

If you head out to the south of the main docks area you will find the Gloucester Quays designer outlet centre which offers an enviable mix of high street and designer labels at prices well below the original retail recommended retail price, and you will also find a variety of coffee shops and restaurants to enjoy too.

The infrastructure of Gloucester Docks has barely changed throughout its history and with many of the warehouses still in use, albeit for a very different purpose than when they were first put into operation, it can certainly be said that it is a complex that has stood the test of time.

Guest Author :

Scott McGrane is an office space interior designer. With a passion for the innovative and productive use of space, he often blogs about inspirations and creative ideas for great work spaces.

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