Founding of Mort`s DockPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Russell Byers

The plaque commemorates the founding of Mort`s Dock by Thomas Sutcliffe Mort in February 1854.

Mort's Dock was the brainchild of industrialist Mort and former steamship captain T. S. Rountree (or Rowntree). Steam ships had first appeared in Sydney Harbour in 1853 but no repair or maintenance facilities existed to cater for the new vessels. In 1854, Mort and Rountree purchased an area of land at Waterview Bay on the northern side of the Balmain peninsula and excavated a dry dock measuring 123 by 15 metres (404 by 49 ft).

Rowntree and Mort formed the Waterview Bay Dry Dock Company (later Mort's Dock & Engineering Company) in 1853 and built Australia's first dry dock and patent slip on the site. Recognising the need, and despite the Government building a dry dock at Cockatoo Island, he started. He offered incentives: on completion, workers got a freehold block of land. The dock was operational by March 1855, one year before the Fitzroy Dock at Cockatoo Island Dockyard. Subdivisions and sales of Waterview Bay land followed the development, values spiraling when it opened.The first vessel serviced at the new Mort's Dock was the SS Hunter, a coastal mail steamer running between Sydney and Newcastle.



Address:Birchgrove Road & Spring Street, St John`s Anglican Church, Birchgrove, 2041
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.852617
Long: 151.179425
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology
Actual Event Start Date:25-February-1854
Actual Event End Date:25-February-1854


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 12th February, 1956
Front Inscription

This stone, excavated from Mort`s Dock in 1854, commemorates the founding of the dock by Thomas Sutcliffe Mort on 25 - 2 - 1854 and the Centenary Commemoration Service in this Church on Sunday 28 - 2 - 1954.

Unveiled by T M Silk, Esq Managing Director Mort`s Dock & Engineering Co Ltd. 12 - 2 - 1956.

The foundations of this Church are of stone excavated from Mort`s Dock

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au