A Little Post on a Square Building

Recently I was asked for information about the derelict building at the south end of Berwick quayside.  What was it used for?  I haven’t been able to find much in a limited time but here goes.

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The earliest map I have showing a building on that site is the tithe map of 1850.  That, and subsequent maps of the latter 19th century, show a long, continuous building marked “stores”—presumably for the new Ballast Quay.  It can’t be anything to do with the old lifeboat station as that was built in 1901.

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OS 1852 map detail

At the north end is a smaller building marked “Booking Office” (for the ferry?)  The OS 1898 map shows a similar range of buildings but there appears to be a gap between the extant square building and others to the north.

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OS 1852 map detail

The narrow booking office appears to have been replaced by a building of similar width to the rest of the range.  A painting in the museum collection by Frank W Wood, dated 1882, shows the square building.  Closer examination of the north face of the square building shows a roof scar, so the long range must have been joined on to it.  Perhaps the 1898 “gap” was an alteration to allow access to the new buildings to the east.

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Berwick Quayside by Frank W Wood, 1882.  Note the paddle-wheel ferry “Susan” at the ballast quay.

If anyone has any information on this building’s more recent use, I’d love to know.

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