Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,270 pages of information and 234,239 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Willoughby Brothers

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Willoughby Bros winch at Cotehele Quay.
Drain cover.

of Central Foundry, Plymouth

Formerly Murch and Willoughby

See also Willoughby Brothers: History by R. R. Laws

The Willoughby Bros shipbuilding yard was located in Plymouth, Devon. It had a 200 foot berth, an engine works and a foundry. It mainly built tugs, coasters, Saltash ferries and Blackpool excursion steamers.

1860 WM. WILLOUGHBY, Engineer, Iron and Brass Founder, Smith, &c., begs to inform the Public that he has considerably enlarged his Premises, and erected a NASMYTH STEAM HAMMER, and he is now prepared to execute any order which may be entrusted to him with Punctuality and Dispatch. FORGINGS and KNEE MOULDS made for Shipbuilders and Smiths. New and Second-hand STEAM ENGINES and BOILERS always on Sale. Sole Agent for Plymouth and neighbourhood for the sale and fixing of GIFFARD’S PATENT INJECTOR, for feeding Steam Boilers.</ref>Western Morning News 27 December 1860 p 1</ref>

1897 Novel refuse destructor was invented by S. Willoughby of Chiswick, a partner in the firm; the destructor was installed at Lewisham[1]

It was sold to new owners at the end of the nineteenth century

1925 Messrs Willoughby of Plymouth replaced the gates on the Turf Lock of the Exeter Ship Canal.

1920s Company closed in the 1920s.

1927 Willoughby (Plymouth) Ltd. Ship Repairers, Engineers, Boilermakers, Copper and General Smiths, Iron and Brass Founders, Portable electric welding plant. Works alongside Dry Dock, 454ft.[2]

1958 Merged with Bickle Engineering Co

1971 Willoughby (Plymouth) was still in business.

See Also


Sources of Information


  • L. A. Ritchie, The Shipbuilding Industry: A Guide to Historical Records (1992)
  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  • The Engineer 1897/09/17
  • Western Mail 1 July 1927 p 14 last col.