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Tyne and Wear HER(2210): Willington Quay, Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co Shipyard - Details

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N Tyneside

Willington Quay, Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co Shipyard

Willington Quay



Marine Construction Site


Early Modern


Documentary Evidence

Wallsend Slipway Co. Ltd. was founded on 18th November 1871 as a limited liability company by a number of Tyne shipbuilders (Charles Mitchell and Co.; Watts, Milburn and Co.; and Nelson, Donkin and Co.) to repair ships for their yards. In 1878 its name was changed to Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co. Ltd., and in the early 1880s the works was considerably extended and the emphasis on engine work increased. Swan, Hunter and Co. and Wigham Richardson secured financial control of Wallsend Slipway in 1903, leading directly to what was probably the most famous order for the yard, the turbine engines (70,000 shp) of the Cunard Liner Mauretania, on which work began in June 1905 and continued up to June 1908. In 1977, Wallsend Slipway became a member of British Shipbuilders; Its name changed to Wallsend Slipway Engineers in 1978. The 2nd edition Ordnance Survey plan of c.1895 shows the works with a consolidated and walled quayside opening into a graving dock to the west and a central slipway. Other structures within the site include ranges of buildings, particularly on the northern fringe of the site, and a comprehensive system of rail lines between buildings and alongside the graving dock and the slipway. The site is still in use but few historic features have survived. One of the large fabrication sheds at the north of the site remains, however, together with the name 'Wallsend Slipway' written along its northern face.




<< HER 2210 >> 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map, 1899, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 98, NW The Archaeological Practice, 2002, Shipbuilding on Tyne and Wear - Prehistory to Present. Tyne & Wear Historic Environment Record.

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