top of page



St Peters

Mushroom Shipyard


54.966780, -1.581802

Useful Links:






Cunningham & Carr (1839 - 1859), Hutchinson (c1860 - c1870)

Types built here:

Snow, Schooner, Barque, Brig, Brigantine, Paddle Steamer, Screw Steamer

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

Estimated Output:


Construction Materials:

Wood, Iron



Last Updated:



The Mushroom shipyard was first established in the 1830s by William Cunningham, not too far from the Mushroom Ferry Landing.

They are first listed in 1839 and continued through to 1860 constructing traditional Snow, Schooner, Barques etc for local merchants. Cunningham had a patent and gridiron slipway which he constructed the wooden ships on. He continued building these even when iron had started to boom on Tyneside. By 1851 he employed 17 men and 19 boys. At this time, his nephew George was a 14 year old apprentice, and he eventually inherited the business until about 1870.

The 1864 map shows clearly the shipbuilding yard next to the various bottle works and potteries in the area. Though wooden ships continued to be built at the slipways, iron steamers were eventually introduced. There were a number of other shipbuilding yards at Mushroom so the history gets a little hazier from there on in. The Tyne Manure & Chemical Works had commenced operations here by 1871, so it is likely Cunningham was the last shipbuilder at this yard.

Others continued just westwards including Anderson on another slipway. By the 1890s the site was fully consumed by the chemical works, and no trace of the yard can be found thereon.

Currently, it forms the disused Spillers site which is due to be developed for housing.

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

Map of St Peters and St Lawrence around 1859, detailing the site of the shipyards. Courtesy of Tynebuiltships

Have we missed something, made a mistake, or have something to add? Contact us

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. 


Historic Maps provided by

bottom of page