Walking Words: SS Great Britain to Underfall Yard

room 3 ECHOES


Poems by Jo Eades

The Underfall Yard was commonly referred to as "The Underfalls" and takes its name from the underfall sluices. The construction was completed in 1809 under the direction of William Jessop and substantially improved by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the 1830s.

In the early nineteenth century the engineer, William Jessop was engaged by the Bristol Dock Company to create a Floating Harbour to eliminate the problem of ships being grounded at low tide. Jessop built a lock to retain the water in the harbour; this was completed in 1809, and allowed ships to remain floating at all times, unaffected by the state of the tide on the river. Part of the project included building a dam at the Underfall Yard with a weir, known as the Overfall, to allow surplus river water to flow into the New Cut, an excavation which by-passed the Floating Harbour and joined the River Avon near Temple Meads.

The docks' maintenance facility was established on the land exposed by the damming of the river to construct the harbour, and remains sited at this location to the present day. By the 1830s the Floating Harbour was suffering from severe silting and Isambard Kingdom Brunel devised the underfall sluices based on William Jessop's original plans and recommended the use of dredgers as a solution.

Walking Words
Walking Words
A poetry soundmap of Bristol UK



The Echoes

Floating Habour- Underfall Yard (Past)

Poem by Jo Eades

Along the Waterfront- Underfall Yard 2 (Present)

Poem by Jo Eades

Background Sound

3621 Rainy Evening 2 by finval

Discover more geolocated content in our apps.


Or start creating tours, treasure hunts, POI maps... Just let your imagination guide you.


Are you a creator?


Privacy & cookie policy / Terms and conditions

© ECHOES. All rights reserved / ECHOES.XYZ Limited is a company registered in England and Wales, Registered office at Merston Common Cottage, Merston, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 1BE

v2.4.4 © ECHOES. All rights reserved.