top of page




North Sands, Barkley Shipyard


54.913584, -1.370194

Useful Links:






William Barklay & Co.

Types built here:

Snow, Brigantine, Brig, Barque

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

Estimated Output:


Construction Materials:




Last Updated:



William Barklay (or Barkley) had his own yard at the North Sands until 1868, when it appears he moved to Pallion and later made bankrupt in 1869.

Little is known about Barkley's yard except its general location and the ships that were built here. The register does indicate he built at North Sands, the area now occupied by the Glass Museum and the relatively new housing development. Here at least 12 vessels were constructed all out of wood. His first, the Ratcliff in 1860, was a Snow for himself. This was perhaps a demonstration, or prototype, of his abilities as it dates before company registration a couple of years later.

His later constructions were quite similar. He generally built for merchants in the North East such as William Davison of North Shields, Robert Ness of South Shields and John Robinson of North Shields. One outlier is Luca, a barque built in 1867 which had Messina as its first port of register.

Barkley had vacated the yard in 1868. Advertisement notices report the yard as "previously occupied by W. Barklay and Co., North Sands". Applications were to be forwarded to William Pile, implying he was either the owner of the plot or was the agent for its sale. Either way, the suggestion is Pile's yard was immediately adjoining which narrows down the location a lot. Pile's yard covered the area at Potato Garth, so pinned site on this entry is reasonably accurate.

After moving to Pallion, William Barkley was declared bankrupt as per various newspaper notices in 1869.

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

Ordnance Survey, 1857

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