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Robert Stephenson & Co, Shipbuilding Yard


54.984371, -1.520799

Useful Links:






Mcintyre & Co. (1884), Robert Stephenson & Co. (1888 - 1912), Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co. (1912 - 1931), Palmers Hebburn Co. Ltd. (Armstrong Whitworth) (1934 - 1973), Swan Hunter, Cammel Laird (2000 - 2001)

Types built here:

Screw Steamer, Lightship, Pontoon, Lock gates, Floating Dock, Barge, Mud Hopper, Tanker, Destroyer, Buoy Vessel, Floating Crane, British Admiralty, Wreck Lifting Lighter,

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

Aplin, Brown & Co (Brisbane), Trinity House, London, Mediterranean & New York Steam Ship Co Ltd, Prince Steam Shipping Insurance Association, Atlantic & Eastern Steamship Co Ltd, The Mayor, Aldermen & Burgesses of Jarrow, Government of Spain, Barry Graving Dock Co, Norfolk & North American Steam Shipping Co Ltd, Elswick Steam Shipping Co Ltd, Soc Anon Ungherese di Armamento Marittime 'Oriente', Fiume, Morpeth Steamship Co Ltd, Tyne Improvement Commissioners, Cardiff Railway Company, Angel Steamship Co Ltd, Wallasey Urban District Council, Liverpool, King Line Ltd, Navigazione Libera-Triestina Soc in Azion, British & Argentine Steam Navigation Co Ltd, British & African Steam Navigation Co Ltd, Eagle Oil Transport Co Ltd, British Royal Navy, British Government, British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd, British Tanker Co Ltd, Venezuelan Gulf Oil Co Inc, Blue Star Line Ltd

Estimated Output:


Construction Materials:

Wood, Iron, Steel



Last Updated:



This shipyard was first opened in 1884 under the guise of McIntyre & Co. They were in business for 1 year producing only 4 screw steamers for various companies. The shipyard presumably went bust, and was bought by Robert Stephenson & Co the next year.

They produced at least 108 vessels on the site ranging from military ships to trade and passenger vessels. Due to the nature of Stephensons works, lots of engineering equipment was made here too, as well as pontoons and lock gates. The shipyard under Stephenson can be seen on the 1890s Ordnance Survey maps with an expansive network of tramways, travelling and overhead cranes and a dry dock. It had a river frontage of 800ft and five building berths across 17 acres. In 1888 a boiler shop was erected, with a large graving dock 700 ft long and 90 ft wide.

It was ultimately not successful and came into the hands of Palmers by 1912, though they only lasted 20 years until reopening as a subsidiary of Vickers Armstrong in 1934 primarily for ship repairing.

During WWII warship repair was the main operation here. Work continued into 1970 when it then merged with Swan Hunter. Cammell Laird operated the site until 2001.

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

Ordnance Survey, 1896

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

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