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Tyne and Wear HER(2294): South Shields, High Dock - Details

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S Tyneside

South Shields, High Dock

South Shields



Dock and Harbour Installation


Early Modern


Demolished Building

A shipyard was present at High Dock from c. 1778. In 1818 the yard consisted of: "one dry dock, a wooden shipbuilding yard and a fine dwelling house". The High Dock Yard came into the hands of the Edwards family in 1821, and was run by the Edwards family until 1899, under whom a further two graving docks were constructed and the original dock deepened and lengthened. With the amalgamation of Smiths and Edwards in 1899, the High Docks became a part of Smiths Dock Co. Ltd. In 1924, the yard passed into the tenancy of John Readhead and Sons Ltd., and into their ownership in 1938. Under Readhead's the whole site incorporating West Docks was substantially redeveloped with three of the docks being infilled using waste from the adjacent ballast hills and a timber quay constructed across the river frontage and a fabrication shop constructed on the newly available land. The High Docks were taken over by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd. in 1968, and formed into Tyne Shiprepair Ltd. in 1977 under the nationalised aegis of British Shipbuilders Ltd. Though all the graving docks and building berths have gone, the site is still in use. There is good map evidence for the historic development of the site, including Wood's Plan of South Shields in 1827 and the subsequent Ordnance Survey Map Series from the 1850s onwards.




<< HER 2294 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 3 N.L. Middlemiss, 1993, British Shipbuilding Yards, Vol 1: North East Coast, p.104-114 The Archaeological Practice, 2002, Shipbuilding on Tyne and Wear - Prehistory to Present. Tyne & Wear Historic Environment Record.

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