Why was there a need for a new dock in Cardiff?

Bute West Dock - A chronology ] What was Cardiff's trade and industry like before the Bute Dock was built? ] [ Why was there a need for a new dock in Cardiff? ] What was transport like around Cardiff in the early 1800s? ] The Second Marquess of Bute ] What did the Bute dock do? ] Was there opposition to the Bute Dock scheme? ] What were the consequences of building the Bute Dock? ] What was trade and industry like after the dock was built? ] Bute Dock - Vocabulary and Definitions ]

Cardiff's Bute Dock - the 1828 Report ]

As with Swansea, the early port of Cardiff developed from a simple town quay. The quay was close to the castle and some way inland from the sea. In medieval times this distance from the sea did not matter. The small ships of the middle ages could easily make their way up the river and sit in the soft mud at low tide. The sketch map below shows the general shape of the early port. Ships would tie up at the quay side by side so that ships would often be three or four abreast at a busy time. 
The fact that the quay was some way up river meant that guides or pilots were needed to navigate ships up and down the river to the open sea. The River Taff had a wide curve or meander at the point where the quay was built. This curve was convenient to build the quay along because the river was wider and the mud was good for ships to sit in at low tide. At high tide it is estimated that the water at the quay was about 12 feet deep which is perfect for the small ships that used the river. 

The real confirmation that a new dock was needed at Cardiff came in the 1828 report commissioned by the marquis of Bute. 


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