In 1780 the Lancaster Port Commission bought land from the Dalton family of Thurnham Hall in order to build a pier for the unloading of larger vessels which could not reach Lancaster Quays.
The only buildings in this area at that time were the small farming / fishing communities of Old Glasson and Brows-Saltcote, so a handful of cottages were built (some of which are now the Dalton Arms and Pier Hotel which later became the Caribou, and is now converted into apartments).
Little real building was undertaken until the Glasson Arm of the canal opened in 1826. At this time the first ‘Canal Terrace’ was constructed (now Tithebarn Hill), closely followed by Lock Keeper’s Cottage and Canal Cottage.
In 1834 the first shipyard was opened, shortly followed by the building of the Customs House, and in 1836 the Watch House was built at a cost of £19/3/0d. Further house building took place for the shipyard workers, and by 1841 the Dry Dock was in use. Although shipbuilding did take place at Glasson, it was never profitable, and it was ship repairing that kept the ship yard in operation until 1968, the dry dock being filled in a year later.