Porters Row was built in 1833 to house the growing number of people working in the docks. 12 houses were built in the Row although only 9-12 survive today. They are some of the oldest hoses in Ellesmere Port.
The houses are called 'Porters Row' because they were built for the porters working on site. The porters were the people who moved cargoes between the boats and the warehouses.
The census records tell us the occupations of the people living here:
1851 - porters, blacksmiths, shipwrights and watermen.
1871 - porters and flatmen (men who worked on the local boats known as 'flats').
In later years railway workers joined the canal workers here as the canal company became part of the Shropshire Union Railway and Canal Company.
HISTORY OF PORTERS ROW
1795 The Wirral line of the Ellesmere and Chester Canal was opened, reaching the Mersey at Ellesmere Port.
1833 Porters Row cottages were built for the Ellesmere and Chester Canal Company by William Rigby at a cost of £780.
1846 Amalgamation of the Ellesmere and Chester Canal Company into the Shropshire Union Railway and Canal Company.
1863 A gas works is built on the dock site for the canal company. The company housing in Porters Row is one of the first places in Ellesmere Port to get gas lighting.
1921 The Manchester Ship Canal Company takes over the building on the dock site. Ship Canal employees had their rent deducted from their wages but other Porters Row tenants paid their rent at the Toll House.
1920s Numbers 11 and 12 Porters Row are converted into 'The Galley'. A rest room for dock workers. An area was added to house the dock fire engine.
1960 Number 1-8 Porters Row are demolished to make space for Braziers Garage in Dock Street.
1976 The Boat Museum opens to the public for the first time.
1981 Number 10 Porters Row is bought by the museum from its final resident.
1986/7 The restored cottages, numbers 9 to 12, are opened to museum visitors.
More details about the four restored cottages, together with some images, can be seen by clicking on the links below.