Queen Alexandra Dock, in what is now Cardiff Bay, was opened on 13th July 1907.
The Glamorganshire Canal was completed in 1794, providing a link between the docks in Cardiff and the industrial heartland of Merthyr. It helped to establish Cardiff as an export centre of iron and coal. A consequent need to provide adequate dock facilities led the 2nd Marquess of Bute to construct the West Bute Dock, which was operational by October 1839. During the 1850s coal was to replace iron as the principal export from South Wales, with exports exceeding 2 million tonnes by 1862. The East Bute dock was opened in 1859 to meet the increasing worldwide demand for coal.
The Roath Dock was opened in 1887, and Queen Alexandra Dock in 1907, facilitating a rise in exports to 10,700,000 tonnes. However, after WW1 the coal and steel industries in South Wales went into a gradual decline, which had a devastating effect on Cardiff docks. In 1987, only 3 of the original docks remained in operation. The Cardiff Bay Development Corporation was set up in April 1987, challenged with planning the regeneration of the old docklands area of South Cardiff and Penarth. The Wharf was opened in 1990, forming the initial part of the Atlantic Wharf development on the East Bute Dock. This was the first phase of the Cardiff Bay development and represented the beginning of a new era for the Docks area of Cardiff.