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Scotswood Shipbuilding Yard


54.967082, -1.686855

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Campbell & Bowstead (1881 - 1885) Scotswood Shipbuilding Co. (1891 - 1894)

Types built here:

Brigantine, Screw Steamer, Barque

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

Regal Steam Ship Co Ltd, Anglo-Indian Steam Ship Co Ltd, Black Diamond Steam Collier Co, Regius Steam Ship Co Ltd

Estimated Output:


Construction Materials:

Wood, Iron



Last Updated:



A shipyard was established directly east of Scotswood Bridge in the 1880s.

It was operated by CJ Bowstead of Riding Mill and John McLeod Campbell of Scotswood House. The shipyard was only possible as Armstrong constructed the Swing Bridge in replacement of the old stone Tyne Bridge in 1876. Campbell's experienced lied at Caird & Co's yard at Greenock, Scotland then worked at Palmer's as a draughtsman. Nearly 600 men were employed at their peak constructing predominantly screw steamers for the merchant navy, as well as a few rigged vessels.

The yard ran out of work in 1885 due to a depression which affected most of the Tyne's yards. Unfortunately this yard did not recover and closed. JM Campbell joined Robert Stephenson's in Hebburn as Yard Manager. The site was taken over by the Scotswood Shipbuilding Company in 1890 who built 4 ships here.

The owners of the company were representatives of a Brazilian company, who sought to build ships for themselves on the Tyne for use on South American rivers. The yard was modernised to build with steel rather than iron which was a relatively early instance of this. In 1894 there was a serious fire which may have been started deliberately due to a breakdown in relations between the management and the unions.

It was taken over by Armstrong, Mitchell in 1896 and was absorbed into their expansive complex. Currently, the site is a yard on the periphery of Pearson Engineering Ltd.

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

Ordnance Survey, 1890s

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

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