Robert Stephenson & Co, Shipbuilding Yard
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:
Customers (Not Exhaustive):
Wood, Iron, Steel
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.
Ordnance Survey, 1896
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Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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