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Willington Quay

Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Works


54.988862, -1.497059

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Thomas Adamson (1852), William Adamson (1859-1863), Adamson & Pringle (1863-1864), Marshall Bros., W. B. Hornsby, Cole Bros. (1871-1876), W. J. Bone (1876), Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. (1876-1927), J Bourn, Armstrong Whitworth (1927 - 1933)

Types built here:

Barque, Brig, Paddle Steamer, Screw Steamer, Tug, Schooner, Lake Steamer, Iron Steamship, Landing Craft, Patrol Boat, Tanker

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

Bedlington Coal Co., Lord Lambton, Bute Dock Steam Towing Co., The Bristol General Steam Navigation Co, Clyde Shipping Co., West India & Pacific Steam Ship Co, James Laing, Royal Hungarian Sea Navigation Co Adria Ltd, Stag Line Ltd, Dundee Loch Line Steam Shipping Co Ltd, Adelaide Steamship Co Ltd, Rahtkens Shipping Co Ltd, The Admiralty, Royal Navy, South Metropolitan Gas Co.

Estimated Output:


Construction Materials:

Wood, Iron, Steel



Last Updated:



"A shipyard extending over four acres had been set up to the east of the Willington Slipway yard by a Thomas Adamson in 1852.

This yard passed through a number of owners in the 1850s and 60s, including the Marshall Bros. of South Shields and W B Hornsby of Sunderland. In 1871, it was bought by the Cole Bros. for whom the yard was managed from 1871 until 1876 by W J Bone, who then bought the yard and set up the Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. The Coles' had initiated iron construction at the yard, the main types of vessel being tramps, colliers and oil tankers.

Bone remained in charge until 1901 when J Bourn took over as manager and remained in charge until the yards closure in the 1930s. Over 200 ships were produced by the yard, including the Elbruz, its last pre-war vessel, which was the first motor driven tanker constructed on the Tyne.

Armstrong Whitworth bought the yard in 1928 and operated up to final closure in 1933, when it was sold on to National Shipbuilders security Ltd.

The yard was demolished in 1935. Few, if any signs of it remain." - Sitelines.

The shipyard stood on Stephenson Street, adjacent to a plywood works and surrounded by a number of public houses and terraced properties. Under the guise of the Marshall Bros the first iron ship built along the whole of the Tyne, "Star", was completed here in 1839 for passenger use between Newcastle & North Shields. Armstrong Whitworth bought the yard around 1927, and completed a few contracts for various steamship companies until selling the yard in 1933.

'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

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. 


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