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Pelaw Main

Morris Shipyard


54.969330, -1.532807

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John Morris & David Morris (1847 - 1921)

Types built here:

Sloop, Tug, Schooner, Screw Steamer

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

Mason Shipping Co Ltd, Walford Lines Ltd, Wear Steam Shipping Co Ltd., Newbigin Steam Shipping Co Ltd

Estimated Output:


Construction Materials:

Wood, Steel



Last Updated:



This yard was built from scarch in 1847 by John and David Morris between Bill Quay and Hebburn.

Throughout much of its existence it was a repair yard working on paddle & screw steamers as well as rigged wooden vessels. In 1855 the yard had a patent slip "for vessels of 20 to 30 keels, plus gridirons and a good graving shore". The yard predominantly built rigged wooden vessels until a severe blaze in 1882, which effectively ceased operations here for a decade or two. From thereon it appears there were a number of sales of equipment and the yard itself through the next few decades. An advertisement in the Chronicle of 08/11/1907 details the attempted sale of the slipways (for which there were two by this time) in a west and east yard. They were held in a yearly lease from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and contained everything you would imagine in a shipyard. Slipways, joiners shops, saws, smiths smops and hearths, storehouses and hand cranes.

The yards in this state are illustrated on the 1890s map at an area named "The Elders", with a longer patent slip to the north between the old staiths from Gateshead. The yard was again building under the Morris name in the late 1910s and early 20s, comprising entirely of steel screw steamers for cargo use. At this time there were 3 building berths.

After a severe slump in the 20s the firm was liquidated in 1923 with Greyfriars still in the yard. It was completed by Mitchison of Friars Goose westwards.

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

Ordnance Survey, 1916

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

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