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Museum of Science and Industry

1830 Warehouse

Built between April and September 1830, this is the world's first railway warehouse. Earlier railways, which mainly carried coal, did not need warehousing. The building contractor was David Bellhouse Jr., whose family was well established in the Manchester construction industry. With less than five months to the completion date, Bellhouse faced a stiff task but finished on schedule.

1830 Warehouse - hydraulic craneThe success of the Railway's goods services created an immediate need for more warehousing. In 1831 two cotton warehouses were completed. A rail circuit linked the three warehouses, allowing wagons to be pulled inside for loading and unloading under cover. The first hoists relied on muscle power and gravity, but steam power was added in 1831. Between 1866 and 1880, hydraulic power was introduced to increase the efficiency of the expanding station.

1830 Warehouse - vertical sectionThe 1830 Warehouse stored a wide range of goods during its long life.  An 1885 stock book reveals that more than 50 tons of meat were handled each month.  Most customers were local butchers based within a square mile of Liverpool Road Station.