Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Sunderland Shipbuilding Co

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Originally a timber-ship building yard which lay on the coast to the east of South Dock and launched vessels into the South Entrance.

For a period in the 1860s the yard was owned and worked by a John Haswell.

In the 1870s, the area of Haswell's yard would seem to have been divided between Bartram’s and the predecessors of the Sunderland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd[1]

1870 Part of the yard was taken over by the partnership of Iliff and Mounsey. They proceeded to construct vessels in iron.

1873 Iliff retired and the partnership became Mounsey and Foster.

1880 Mounsey retired

Within a few years, Robert Foster set up a limited liability company with the Sunderland name. This yard was known locally as the "Limited Yard" because it was the first to be owned by a limited liability company.

1882 Sunderland Shipbuilding Company took over the yard, previously operated by Haswell, Iliff and Mounsey and Mounsey and Foster[2].

Mid-80s The yard made cargo-liners, steel colliers and tramps before moving into tankers in the mid 1880s. In the following decades a number of passenger/cargo liners were built.

1900 Output of over 16,000 tons made the yard the ninth most productive on the Wear.

A number of tramps were made up to World War I.

WW1 During the war itself, eleven ships (totalling nearly 43,000 tons) and 19 small naval craft were built of which two were gunboats. After building a cargo-liner and a few further tramps before the freight slump of the early 1920s.

1914 Directory: Listed as Iron Ship Builders of South Docks, Sunderland

1923 No launches were made during 1923 and the yard stopped trading.

1926 The final launch was in 1926. The yard closed and was demolished before the 1930s

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Tyne and Wear Shipbuilding [1]
  2. Sunderland Shipbuilders [2]