Old waterfront walls

This guide updates and replaces the original CIRIA publication on old waterfront walls first published in 1992. A significant amount of the material used in the original publication, particularly with respect to the history and types of old waterfront walls, has been incorporated into this publication.

Old waterfront walls are defined as gravity walls of masonry,concrete blockwork, brickwork or mass concrete with vertical or near vertical exposed faces fronting on to the sea, river,
canals, lakes or dock. They can be composed of thin masonry facings to rock or cohesive soil, but exclude revetments, sloping sea defences, dams, sheet piled walls and reinforced concrete structures. Many of these structures will have been constructed in the 17th or 18th century – some even earlier.

This guide contains an overview of how such old waterfront walls were constructed. Many proved troublesome to construct, but their longevity is a measure of man’s persistence to succeed.

Download Old waterfront walls (C746).