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North Hylton

North Hylton, Lister & Bartram Shipyard


54.903338, -1.459706

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George Bartram, John Lister, Robert Appleby Bartram

Types built here:

Snow, Brig, Barque, Brigantine

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

Estimated Output:


Construction Materials:




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George Bartram, a name perhaps more known in the East End of Sunderland, started business here in Hylton. The shipbuilding business commenced in 1837, when he went into partnership with John Lister.

Bartram was an orphan and apprenticed at the age of 11 at W&J Gales, a modest builder at Hylton also. He later became a foreman for Dryden Shipbuilders at Biddick Ford down the way.

The partnership lasted until 1854 and built around 40 ships, namely for speculation rather than actual contracts. They built rigged wooden vessels for cargo movements that ended up sailing between Britain and the Empire as well as Russia and France. After 1854 the partnership split, and built vessels independently at Hylton. After 1854, George entered a new partnership with his son Robert Appleby. It appears Bartram remained at this site until around the early 1870s, when George retired and the firm moved to a more spacious location next to the Hudson Dock.

The exact location of this site is debated between various sources. Some dictate it was at South Hylton, which would pin it to the east of the village under the High Street and opposite Ferryboat Lane. However I hesitate to suggest this is true, and if we take a look at the photograph showing the shipyard it appears to show the bend in the Wear at North Hylton under the A19. I of course may be incorrect. The 1850s maps do show an extensive complex of yards at this site, shared by multiple other builders.

By the 1890s the site was cleared next to the Manor House at North Hylton, and remained quite similar to how it looks today.

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

Ordnance Survey, 1862

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

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