Bull Ring Docks
Edward Collingwood (1750s), Mr Hall (1770s), Laing Brothers, Morrison & Fawcus (1850s), Edwards Bros., Hepple & Co., Baird Bros., Thomas & William Smith, Smith's Dock Co. (1891), A&P
Types built here:
Customers (Not Exhaustive):
Wood, Iron, Steel
The Smiths Dock slipways and docks culminate for an interesting but complex history, with the various docks all being seperately owned one time of another.
The first shipbuilder on the site was Collingwoods, commencing in the 1750s to the south of the Bull Ring by landowner Edward Collingwood. Records later dictate it was owned by a Mr Hall and Mr Laing thereafter. This same dock was later utilised by the Smiths, then Edwards, then swallowed up by Smith's Dock Co. The other docks were also owned by various companies and partnerships. The Fawcus, Hepples, Edwards, Baird and Smith families all owned a graving dock or yard at some point in the 18th and 19th centuries. The area is mostly known because of the Smiths, who constructed hundreds of fishing vessels, screw steamers and other such ships here. Vessels were constructed for fishing companies in every corner of Britain as well as the admiralty.
The docks were unconnected to the mainline railway network, but operated their own internal tramway system along the whole of the extensive complex, with umpteen travelling cranes along the narrow site.
The site was owned by A&P for a short period and now forms an interesting residential area.
Ordnance Survey, 1915
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Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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