Catalogue description Records of Southampton Harbour Board

This record is held by Southampton Archives Office

Details of D/SHB
Reference: D/SHB
Title: Records of Southampton Harbour Board

These records were originally deposited in 1982, with many additional accessions (Accs. 4864, 5147, 5155, 5188, 5298, 5306, 5321).

Date: 1803-1968



D/SHB 1 Minute books and reports.


D/SHB 2 Letter books.


D/SHB 3 Dues and charges.


D/SHB 4 Administrative and other main financial records.

Held by: Southampton Archives Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Southampton Harbour Board

  • Southampton
Administrative / biographical background:

Harbour Commissioners were established for Southampton by Act of Parliament in 1803, replacing the corporation as managers of the port. Improvements to the quay area were speedily undertaken, premises bought and dismantled on the south side of the town wall. The Royal Pier was opened in July 1833 for steam packets to France, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight.


Limitations on borrowing meant that the opportunities from the extension of railways to Southampton might be missed. A group of businessmen set up the Southampton Dock Company, acquiring land next to Town Quay. The Outer Dock opened in 1842, Inner Dock in 1851 and Empress Dock in 1890. The London and South-Western Railway Company purchased the Dock Company in 1892. After nationalisation, the docks were operated by the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive of the British Transport Commission until 1962, then by the British Transport Docks Board, subsequently privatised as part of Associated British Ports (ABP). Harbour Board functions had been taken over by the Docks Board following a reorganisation in 1968.

Link to NRA Record:

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