Underfall Yard


Underfall Yard

was created by Jessop in 1809 and improved by Brunel in the 1830s who changed it from an overfall into The Cut to an underfall. The pumping station was built in 1888 to operate locks a machinery around the docks and originally operated on steam. It took over from The Pump House at Howards Junction Lock. The existing electric pumps date from 1907.

Electricity sub station Avon Crescent s
The Electricity Sub-staion in Avon Crescent (2018) was built to service the docks in the early 1900s

The Avon Crescent Electricity Sub-station is allegedly haunted as a worker fell from the roof into the building but they never found his body! (According to Senior Electrical Engineer – Pete Willis.)

Matthew Underfall Slipway s
The Matthew in for repair

The Matthew is a replica of a caravel sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America, presumed Newfoundland.

The Patent Heave-Up Slipway was built in 1856 and replaced by the current slipway in the 1890s. The Winch Shed at the top of the slipway worked on hydralic power from 1890 but was converted to electricity in 1924.

Engine and gears in Winch Shed
Engine and gears of the Winch Shed


The Mayflower Underfall Slipway
The Mayflower in for repairs

Mayflower is a steam tug built in Bristol in 1861 and now preserved by Bristol Museums Galleries & Archives. She is based in Bristol Harbour at M Shed. She is the oldest Bristol-built ship afloat and is believed to be the oldest surviving tug in the world.

The Overfall
Jessops overfall of 1809 replaced by the underfall in 1834
Underfall Yard late 1800s
Underfall Yard late 1800s bottom left – notice rail bridge over Howards Junction Lock is on dockside

The creation of the Underfall in allowed the creation of Underfall Yard by reclaiming dock space in 1834.


Outlet from Underfall Yard to The Cut
The Underfall into the Cut
Underfall Yard 3
Underfall Yard 2018