Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

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Volume Six - Pre-Victorian to the Present Day - Select Aspects - The subway under the river Ely story . . .

After taking the first picture the photographer took his camera over to the new Penarth Dock and took the second picture which may well be the very first photograph of the site now occupied by CBYC. Quite an historical gem!

Due to the vagaries of tide and weather, you won’t be surprised to hear that this little chain ferry enterprise was not a great success, so during the course of 1899 work started on our famous subway, the entrance to which used to be in the space now occupied by our boatyard. Just look at these pictures. As you can see, it was quite an undertaking.

A huge tubular cast iron tube was constructed in two sections, the Penarth bank section was designed with a gradual slow curve, and as it approached Penarth it went through a 75° turn. The subway itself was 38ft below water level at high water, under layers of river mud and glacial silt, with the subway itself bedded down in gravel. It was 1,257 feet long, had an external diameter of 10 feet, and it cost an estimated £16,000 to construct.

Building the River Ely subway

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150 years of Penarth Dock History and Heritage

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