The Tilbury docks

Plan of the Tilbury Docks Based upon the Ordnance Survey Maps with the sanction of the Controller of HM Stationery Office.

British Isles London
  • Publication place: [London]
  • Publisher: Port of London Authority, Trinity Square, E.C.3
  • Publication date: 1964.
  • Physical description: Lithographed map, dissected and mounted on linen, folding into original maroon covers, title in gilt.
  • Dimensions: 688 by 728mm. (27 by 28.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 13950


Tilbury Docks in Essex were opened in 1886 by the East and West India Docks Company. Tilbury was best known for the speech given there by Elizabeth I to her troops before the invasion of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The dock was built as a counter to the opening of the Royal Albert Dock by the London and St Katherine Dock Company; the two firms competed jealously for territorial advantage on the Thames.

The opening of the container port in Tillbury in 1967 marked the end for the docks further up the Thames and heralded the new age of container shipping.

The Port of London Authority was formed in 1909. It was prompted by a series of industrial actions by dock workers, including their demand for the ‘Docker’s Tanner’, a wage of 6d. an hour, in 1889. The Port was a vital part of the British economy: refining and processing industries grew up around goods brought in to the docks and it was the centre of British shipbuilding and repair. The PLA continues to supervise and manage the Port of London, the docks, and the London stretch of the River Thames. This map was issued from the former PLA headquarters in Trinity Square.

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