King George V Graving Dock

King George V Graving Dock, is a former dry dock situated in Southampton’s Western Docks. It was also known as No. 7 Dry Dock. It was designed by F.E. Wentworth-Shields and constructed by John Mowlem & Company and Edmund Nuttall Sons & Company.

It was formally opened by HM King George V and Queen Mary on 26 July 1933 even though it was not quite complete then.

The first ship to use the dock in 1934 was White Star’s Majestic. Built specifically for new large liners coming into service then, like the RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth, this dry dock was once the biggest in the world and retained its status for nearly thirty years. It was 1,200 feet long and 135 feet wide. When full it held 58 million gallons of water and took four hours to empty.

The dock also proved useful when the Mulberry Harbours were put together for D Day in 1944. In 2005 the lock gates and keel blocks were removed thus converting the dock to a permanent wet dock.