William Gilley (1787 - 1791) Thomas Metcalf (1814 - 1860s), J T Eltringham (1864 - 1913), Middle Dock Engineering Co.
Types built here:
Customers (Not Exhaustive):
Wood, Iron, Steel
The first record of this yard in use was with William Gilley in 1787.
Gilley was in partnership with William Oswell until a year later, when Gilley continued solo. Little is known of him apart from the fact he went bankrupt in 1791 and proceeded to let out the yard in 1791. Thomas Metcalf was in control of the yard from 1814. Little is known about him, but he produced an extensive number of wooden rigged vessels between the 1810s and the 1860s. It was known as the Stone Quay as it used to be used to ship limestone from Cleadon and Fulwell. It was later the location of the Shields salt pans but redeveloped by the 1800s. By the 1860s it passed over to the more well known Joseph Eltringham.
Eltringham was born around Prudhoe, and joined his father at the Stone Quay in 1864 after working at Palmers, Hebburn. The dock absorbed the smaller Metcalf Dock, where workmen would passed over the closed lock gates to reach both yards. Joseph Toward Eltringham rose up the ranks in the business and took on the business relatively young in his 20s.
It was in 1878 the company formally bought the Metcalf Yard and fully reconstructed it to produce the Eltringham complex. Much of his work up to 1890 would be sub-contracted from Rennoldson's. It was mainly tugs and smaller vessels, but later expanded into fishing vessels - trawlers and drifters. The yard at this era is shown on the 1890s map with a significant graving dock and bordered by a number of pubs. This includes the Scarborough Castle, aptly where many of Eltringham's customers were based. Many of the Clyde Shipping Co. tugs were also constructed here, as well as for various railway companies and ports around Britain.
Nearly 160 tugs were built here, and with the size of the business by the 1900s land was purchased at Willington Quay. The Eltringham's headquarters soon moved over there after formally opening in the February of 1914. The Stone Quay Yard was acquired by the Middle Dock Engineering Co. to construct their fourth dry dock, which at the time was the second largest on the Eastern coast beyond London.
This dock is still extant alongside the others. One is being infilled due to pollution while three are remaining in situ around the new residential developments as of 2023.
Ordnance Survey, 1896
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