Old Dock experience

The Old Dock experience is a truly unique learning opportunity led by our knowledgeable museum tour guides. 

Available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10.30am, 12noon and 2.30pm.

The tour is highly engaging and a must for any group studying Liverpool’s local history. Discover why the Old Dock, the first commercial enclosed wet dock in the world when it opened in 1715, was so important and what impact it had on local, national and international trade. 

Developed in partnership with the owners of Liverpool One, the Old Dock experience is also the only way to access this amazing archaeological site.

Workshop details

The tour begins with a welcome and introduction at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Students are then led through a secret entrance to the site of the Old Dock in what is now Liverpool One.

Topics covered during the hour include:

  • the background and context as to why the dock was built,
  • the buildings in the surrounding area,
  • the key figures involved,
  • the materials used to build the dock,
  • the cargos that were transported,
  • and the role of the archaeologists in unearthing the site and interpreting the finds.

Utilising objects that can be handled brings the old dock to life. At the end students take part in discussions and a question and answer session.

It is worth noting for anyone with mobility issues that the Old Dock site is below ground level, with access via stairs or a lift.

Curriculum links

Key Stage 1 – History

Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time.

They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods.

They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms.

They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events.

They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.

Pupils should be taught about:

  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]
  • the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.

Key Stage 2 – History

Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.

They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms.

They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.

They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.

They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Statutory local history study

Non statutory: A study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality.