Tyne and Wear
Mining, Iron / Steel / Shipbuilding, Maritime
Swan Hunter became one of the world’s premier shipbuilders from its site on the North bank of the Tyne at Wallsend, building over 1,600 ships for worldwide destinations during its 130 year life span including oil tankers, ice breakers, destroyers, submarines, cargo liners and floating docks. Two famous vessels include the Carpathia, which rescued survivors from the Titanic, and the Mauretania, which held the blue ribbon for the fastest transatlantic crossing for over 20 years. Today the site of the yard is largely derelict, but plans are afoot for its transformation.
Segedunum Roman Museum at Wallsend stands next to the site. It contains displays about the shipyard, as well as Wallsend colliery, and remains of the ‘B’ pit are still visible at the site. At the start of the 19thcentury if you lived in London and wanted the best quality coal for your fire you would ask for ‘Wallsend coal’.