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Albion Dockyard

OS Reference ST577724
To Wapping Wharf
the previous seriesWapping Wharf
End of the Line!

James Martin Hilhouse started shipbuilding on a site close to Hotwells Road in about 1770. In 1803 the business was re-titled Hilhouse & Sons and Company and 10 years later they completed the Charlotte and Hope, the first steamship to be built in Bristol. The creation of the Floating Harbour saw the firm move their yard to the south bank where they established their New Dockyard complete with dry-dock. In 1824 the firm was re-titled George Hilhouse & Company, and a year later Charles Hill, who had joined the company as an accountant in 1810, became a partner in the firm. After a spell trading as Hilhouse, Hill & Company, Charles Hill took control of the company, brought his 16-year-old son (also called Charles) into the business and renamed it Charles Hill & Son in 1845. Three years later the New Dockyard was re-titled the Albion Yard.

In 1970 an announcement was made that commercial operations in Bristol City Docks were to cease and Charles Hill launched their last ship, the Miranda Guinness, on 9th July 1976. The Albion yard closed completely on 4th January 1877.

The first couple of photos were kindly supplied by Andy Kirkham. My thanks to him :) My photos were taken over the weekend of 26/27th December 2004.

Thomas Hills shipyard at Bristol Docks

Charles Hill's shipyard with the ship Skirbeck under construction. The concrete legs of the cranes survived for many years after the shipyard closed.

the Albion Dockyard in Bristol Docks

Another view of the yard.

albion yard at bristol docks

A look at the surviving dry dock of Charles Hills shipyard. Bristol City Docks were closed to commercial trafic in 1980 and the decision meant an end to shipbuilding in the city.

albion docks at bristol docks

The surviving trackwork threads its way past the premises of Glenroy Engineering.

albion dockyard and the bristol marina

The view east showing surviving tracks at the former Albion yard.

albion dockyard and the bristol marina

The view west with the Bristol Marina blocking the view of Clifton.

albion yard

One of my favourite buildings on Bristol Docks (so they're bound to knock it down!). This is visible in the background of Andy's first photo.

albion dockyard in bristol

Further west along the former Albion Yard. Trackwork disappears under tarmac and housing has replaced the former timber yards that stood on this spot.

albion yard in bristol docks

The winter sun lights up Cliftonwood. Boats at Bristol Marina stand on part of the site of Thomas Hill's shipyard, old track disappearing under them.


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email: moo@moocow.me.uk for any assistance with this website.

I would like to thank the following people for their help regarding this website: Alex Seal, Andy Spencer, Alex Ford, Ian Greenfield, David Jackson, Hils, Laurence Spring, Stuart Perry, Martin Dyson, Mike P, Jack Knight, James & Mike on the forum, Neil Higson, Jonathan Condell, Stephen Parascandolo, Phil Bidwell, Andrew Ross, Andy Mitchell, Robin Summerhill, Clive Moore, Chris Hopkins, 'Capt Flack', David Burrell, Gerald Peacock, Mark Barnett, Royston Downing, Nigel Callahan, Ralph Rawlinson, Mick Munns, Adrian Henry, Andy Viles, Alan Weeks, Simon Jones, John Williamson, Michelle Howe, Keith Jarret, Nigel Ratledge, Clive Mortimore, John Turner, Roger Elliott, Simon Lambert, Peter Rendall, Jules, Stuart Jenkins, Dunstable Dasher, Inks, Peter Mills, Dave Edworthy, Simon Whittingham, Roger Porch, Michael Lucas, Bob V., Ian Tiley, Dick Best, Jane Lilly, Rob Campbell, Andy Kirkham, Gerry Nichols, Roger Porch, Geoff Hartland, Rob Brewer, Richard Chapman, Roger Newport, Phillip Bellamy, Peter Ho, Mark Ferris, John Thorn and Michael Owen. (with apologies to anyone I've missed!)

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