Tyne and Wear HER(2293): South Shields, West Docks - Details
South Shields, West Docks
Dock and Harbour Installation
The first shipyard on the site was constructed in 1811 by the owners, messrs. Nicholson and Horn. It was put up for sale in 1817 when it was described as containing: "three spacious dry docks capable of holding one ship of 500 tons register, or two of 250 tons each. Two slipways for building; timber pond; spacious and convenient proprietor's house, workmen's houses, smith's shops mould lofts, cranes etc." Between 1818 and 1880, the site was owned by the Young's. Readhead's bought it in 1880 and developed the yard to produce iron ships (see HER ref. No. 2294). In this conversion all the existing dry docks were infilled and two slipways added (making, in all, four berths). There is good map evidence for the appearance of the site, including Wood's Plan of South Shields in 1827 and the subsequent Ordnance Survey Map Series from the 1850s onwards. The site is still in use, most recently dealing with the assembly of oil rig components.
<< HER 2293 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 3 The Archaeological Practice, 2002, Shipbuilding on Tyne and Wear - Prehistory to Present. Tyne & Wear Historic Environment Record.