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HAR002

Hartlepool

Middleton

Richardson Shipyard (2nd)

Hartlepool

54.695923, -1.192173

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Opened:

1838

Closed:

1844

Owners:

Joseph Parkin, Thomas Richardson, JP Denton

Types built here:

Schooner, Snow

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

Hartlepools Union Shipping Co.

Estimated Output:

5

Construction Materials:

Wood

Status:

Redeveloped

Last Updated:

05/12/23

Description

This is the yard the Parkin & Richardson partnership moved to after closing the Town Wall Shipyard on the other side of the harbour mouth, which had become inefficient and cramped.

The land was purchased from a local miller, Mr W Walker of Middleton House. In fact, a windmill remained in situ in the 1850s and potentially later. We can't be certain if any formal engineering was constructed here, though a slipway was in situ by the 1850s when JP Denton took over the site to build iron vessels.

The partnership build two wooden vessels here - The Thomas Wood, a snow for the Hartlepools Union Shipping Co., and the Independence - A schooner part owned by Parkin himself. It appears the partnership dissolved in 1839, and much of the site bought from the miller was sold off to JP Denton who will be covered in a much wider piece illustrating the whole of this area.

The Richardson shipbuilding interests went dormant for a number of years. Their work at Castle Eden took precedence, and Parkin developed his vessel portfolio. However, the Richardson's did make a return in the mid 1840s to build another two wooden snows - the Endeavour and the John Mowlem. This was the true end of wooden shipbuilding by the firm, and would be another decade or so before building would return here under the guise of JP Denton, who absorbed this site into his iron shipbuilding complex. The Richardson family did get back into the industry, however this was in the mid 1850s and just slightly north of here. This Richardson branch appears to be unrelated to the Richardson shipbuilding family of Tyneside.

The original layout of the harbour can be seen on the Ordnance Survey maps surveyed in 1857, with the site of the Richardson shipyard. As noted, a patent slip is illustrated however it is unlikely to have been built by Thomas. Instead, it was likely to be an incline like that at the Town Wall.

Nothing remains of the yard given the complex was entirely redeveloped by Withy. The harbour has been widened so even the natural layout of the land has changed. There are unfortunately no photos either.

'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

Ordnance Survey, surveyed 1857

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

HER information as described above is reproduced under the basis the resource is free of charge for education use. It is not altered unless there are grammatical errors. 

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