Dover Index

Commercial Quay

"Old Commercial Quay" from an old postcard

Old Commercial Quay

  This photograph of Commercial Quay was probably taken in the latter part of the 19th century.  It shows the buildings in a semi-derelict state - the timber-fronted building in the centre appears to have no roof.  This was, I believe, a Ships' Chandler's shop.

The square-fronted building to the right with the protruding sign-board over the top is Sharp's Commercial Quay Inn.  My great, great, great grandfather, Richard Sharp, was licencee of this establishment in the 1860s, before moving to Deal.

"Commercial Quay, which is the name of the thoroughfare margining the lower part of the west side of the Wellington Dock, dates from the year 1834.  There was, previously, a road for foot passengers along the side of the Pent there, the earliest harbour building leases in that thoroughfare being dated 1813; while the Pentside chapel, closed in 1902, was built there in 1823.  Commercial Quay was widened to a carriage road, and received its present name, in 1834.  The buildings which have been put up there, are of a very miscellaneous character, owing to the want of space, the Pentside having been previously occupied by the courts and outbuildings of the houses in Snargate Street.  Until some thirty years ago, there were a few buildings, on the harbour side, at the south-west corner of the Wellington Dock, and a coal store and wharf, the property of the late Mr. W R. Mowll.  The formation of this road, and the making of the dock yard, was the last work of Mr. Fordham, Harbour Engineer, who retired in 1834."

(JBJ 1907)

Behind Commercial Quay was Snargate Street - one side of that thoroughfare still stands today, with a considerable amount of demolition and re-building.  The whole of Commercial Quay and Northampton Street was demolished to make way for development of the Wellington Dock as a commercial site - today the whole area has been tidied up and turned into a yachting marina.

The cliffs can be seen over the rooftops.  Notice the gas light on the right hand side of the picture.

The picture below would appear to be the same section of Commercial Quay (look at the 3-storey building on the right with the slightly protruding front and the four windows).   Several of the buildings have been demolished and re-built, and the Inn is now the Commercial Quay Stores.  This was probably taken around the end of the 19th century.

The gentleman standing outside the newly-built Ship Chandlers shop is probably Mr Sharp, whose descendant (who still owns and runs the business today from premises in Snargate Street) kindly allowed me to copy the pictures on this page.

Another view of the Quay, seen from across the Basin, can be seen here.

Commercial Quay

Commercial Quay