The Docks are a dominant feature both of Great Grimsby's geography and economic history, and the Dock Tower, rising 309ft above the town, looms over Grimsby and Cleethorpes as a stately reminder of this. Perhaps ironically for such a monumental structure it has been redundant for most of its life, and as such a doubly suitable symbol for a declining industrial town. In the past it has been proposed that it be dismantled, and only the prohibitive cost has prevented it. Though had such a thing been attempted the people of Grimsby would surely have been up in arms, such is the pride held in the tower.
This pride is by no means misplaced. Despite being a functional, industrial building, it was designed and built with an eye for grace and elegance which marries the schools of British industrial architecture with more classical Renaissance and Moorish influences. The result is tall graceful building, reminiscent of a hugely oversized minaret, but in the red brick of Victorian Railway buildings. The main body of the Tower, which housed the pumping mechanisms for the dock's hydraulic lock gates rises 224ft, yet at its base is only 28ft square. The main body tapersContinued page 2/15