Lower Basin

The Lower Basin and Arm are both contained within the Central Peninsula which is connected to the Upper Basin by means of the tramway embankment and bridge adjacent to the Middle Basin.

The 625 ft long channel and its associated tippler was constructed c1835-38 to provide additional wharfage and transhipment facilities; thereby easing pressure on the Upper Basin wharves.

More beam slots may be seen set high into the retaining wall above the Lower Basin, these being from the fourth and last tippler pier to be constructed on the site. To the south, the remains of the stone crushing engine-house stands just below the tramway embankment. The stone crusher was constructed c1860 by the MS&LR for the supply of ballast; this area being the focus of current excavation and recording work.

The horse-transfer bridges were constructed c1840-50 in order to facilitate the passage of horses on entering the or leaving the complex; the arrangement being such that it was unnecessary to unhitch a horse from its boat. The original bridges were robbed of their stone during the 1930s, and the present reconstruction was built during the 1980s, paradoxically, largely from local stone recovered from redundant railway premises.

A secure goods warehouse stood at the head of the Lower Basin Arm, this covering half of the channel for the entry of boats. The remains of the wall footings are still visible, including the outer wall which divided the inner and outer channels. Also extant are the sleeper blocks which enabled one of the many tramway extensions to enter the warehouse.

Lower Basin c1928