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Tyne and Wear HER(2337): South Shields, Fairle's Dock - Details

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S Tyneside

South Shields, Fairle's Dock

South Shields



Dock and Harbour Installation


Early Modern



On the 1st edition Ordnance Survey plan the dock appears to have been oval in shape, with its long axis parallel to the river rather than at 90 degrees as seems to have been more common. Adverts in newspapers in South Shields in 1791 and 1792 refer to Fairles’ two quays, with room on the ‘High Quay’ for making a dry dock. A second dock was constructed on the quays in the early 1800s. By 1831, the docks were known as the Commercial Docks owned by Messrs Wetherby and Ihler. Also in the early 1830s the Yard was purchased by the Stanhope and Tyne Railroad Co. and, due to the failure of that company, the site remained largely unused except as a timber store for the next 120 years, during which time the docks were levelled and the site used for a saw mill. In 1954, construction of Brigham and Cowan’s new graving dock revealed a ‘double dock head’ almost certainly the remains of Fairles’ old graving dock as shown on Wood’s plan of 1827.




<< HER 2337 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 4 The Archaeological Practice, 2002, Shipbuilding on Tyne and Wear - Prehistory to Present. Tyne & Wear Historic Environment Record. A.C. Flagg, 1979, The History of Shipbuilding in South Shields

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