The Flat Shed, Tower Wharf, Chester

A Grade II listed boat-building shed which has been on the Buildings at Risk register for nearly 30 years.

The Flat Shed is a covered slipway and workshop in which broad beam barges called Mersey ‘flats’ were built and repaired. It dates from 1892/3 and was part of an extensive boatyard owned and operated by the Shropshire Union Railway and Canal Company.

The open frontage facing the canal was bricked up many years ago, and the floor was levelled off so that the building could be used for storage purposes. It has been empty and derelict since the 1980s and is showing increasing evidence of decay and neglect. Such is the state of the building that it was deemed to be at ‘extreme risk’ in a survey carried out by Chester City Council 25 years ago.

The Flat Shed is significant because of its history in boat repair on the canals of Cheshire.