St. George's Quay

St. George's Quay was built in 1750, during Lancaster's Golden Age as a port.  Lancaster imported sugar, cotton, rum and mahogany and exported furniture and general merchandise to the colonies in North America and West Indies.  Click here to learn more about Lancaster's maritime history from the Historic Lancaster website.

St. George's Quay
Quay from the east end.
St. George's Quay
Quay from the Millennium Bridge
Upstream from the Quay
Looking upstream from the east end of the Quay.

 Note the piers for the Millennium Bridge which was under construction when this photograph was taken.  The Greyhound bridge on the left was originally a railway bridge carrying the line to Morecambe.  The river is flanked on the right by the trackbed of a railway that used to connect Lancaster Green Ayre and Lancaster Castle stations, now a footpath.

The Medieval Bridge 

The medieval bridge lay at the point where the mill stream joins the river Lune. It was first mentioned in 1215 and was demolished in 1802 to allow passage of masted vessels to and from Brockbank's shipyard which lay just upstream - where Sainsbury's is located today. 

Millennium Bridge

The new Millennium Bridge is on the same site as the medieval bridge but on a different alignment.  The photograph on the left was taken from the site of the southern end of the bridge looking north.  The gap in the middle of the photograph, looking on to Lune Street in Skerton marks the northern end of the bridge.

1845 map

The stump of the southern end of the bridge can be made out in this map of 1845.  Note that the north bank of the river was completely undeveloped at this date.

The Mill Stream 

The mill stream still runs under Damside Street and the point at which it re-enters the river can just be made out in this photograph as a sluice gate under the third arch from the left. 

Sluice gate

Custom House

Walk downstream along the Quay to visit the Custom House.

The Custom House was designed by Richard  Gillow and completed in 1764 for the port commission. It now houses Lancaster's excellent Maritime Museum.   Find out more about the museum at

Custom House

Bridge Lane

As you walk from the Quay along Damside Street towards Cable street, you will notice a pub on the right hand side called the Three Mariners.  At first sight this pub seems to be in an incongruous position, set back from the road by about 50 metres but, until 1938, it lay on Bridge Lane - what would have been a very busy thoroughfare until the New Bridge was built in 1788.

Three Merchants
The Three Mariners

The Three Mariners was formerly known as the Carpenter's Arms.  There has been a pub on this site since the 1400's.  The cellar is unusual in being upstairs and water from the Castle rock keeps it cool all year.  The cobbled street in front of the pub is all that remains of Bridge Lane.

The route of Bridge Lane can be seen on this map of 1890.  It led from the west end of modern Church Street to Lune Square, south of the Green Ayre to Lancaster Castle Railway.  Click on the map to see a larger version with the position of the Three Mariners marked.

1890 map

Continue along Damside Street until you reach Cable Street.

The junction of Damside Street and Cable Street.  The warehouses belonged to the farm feed suppliers Pye and Co.

Pye Warehouses


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