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The Southampton Docks are 78£ miles W.S.W. of London by the London and South-Western Railway.
By the " Southampton Docks Act, 1871," all the Docks and premises of the Company are deemed and held to be within and part of the Port of Southampton, and the rights and privileges which belong to the Port extend to the Docks and premises of the Company.
There are double tides at this port. In addition to the usual high water, there is a second high water about two hours after the first.
To ships using the port this is obviously of great advantage, the water remaining nearly stationary for two hours, allowing vessels to come out of the graving docks without risk, and others to enter without losing a tide.
The Docks are situated in a very safe and good strategic position within the land-locked port, and are accessible at all states of the tides, and in all weathers. They are owned by the Southampton Dock Company, were commenced in 1838, and opened for business in 1844. The estate of the Company covers 208 acres, and there is a tidal basin of 16 acres, with an entrance 150 feet wide, and a depth of nearly 31 feet at high water spring tides, and 27 feet at high water neap tides. Adjoining the basin is a close dock of 10 acres, with a depth over the sill of 29 feet h. w. s., and 25 feet at neaps. The width at the entrance is 56 feet.
The length of Quays in the Tidal and Close Docks exceeds 7500 feet. The Extension Quay exceeds 1800 feet, with 20 feet of water at Low Tides.
The New Deep Water Open Dock, 18 acres, with a minimum depth of 26 feet at Low Water Spring Tides, is now constructed, and affords further Quays to the extent of 3750 feet.
There are four large Dry Docks, with all necessary appurtenances; also powerful sheers worked by steam power, for lifting masts, boilers, and machinery up to 100 tons weight. The dimensions of the Dry Docks are—
No. 1 ... ....... length 400 ft.; width 66 ft.
No. 2 No. 3 No. 4
...... length 250 ft.; width 51 ft.
length 523 ft. ; width 80 ft.l Water over blocks, from length 450 ft.; width 50 ft. J 15 to 25 feet and upwards.
There is a complete system of railways throughout the dock property, 15 miles in length, extending to all the quays, and into and alongside each warehouse—and connected with the main line of the South-Western Railway—so that trucks pass direct between the Docks and every railway system of the Kingdom.
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