Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Charles Hill and Sons

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1960. "Jantar".

Charles Hill and Sons grew out of the interests of the Hillhouse family who were a family of Bristol shipowners.

See James Martin Hilhouse

1772 They set up their first yard in a dry dock and yard at Hotwells in Bristol.

1800s During the early nineteenth century the Hillhouse's built twenty wooden warships before establishing their first company, the Bristol Steam Navigation Co in 1836 they then built a number of sailing ships.

1840 Charles Hill worked at the yard and the company was renamed as Hillhouse and Hill

1845 It was renamed Charles Hill and Sons

1879 Charles Hill and Sons established the Bristol City Line which was a transatlantic service between Bristol and New York.

1881 The first iron ship was built in 1881 at the Albion yard followed by a number of steel sailing ships.

The early 1900s were typified by the construction of coasters, steel hulled ships, along with tugs and barges.

WWI The yard made coasters, standard "D" type colliers, and six standard "H" type colliers.

1920s The yard continued making large ships for Spanish, Scottish and Welsh companies along with large steamships and coastal tankers and dry cargo coasters for Shell Mex and B. P. Ltd

1920 Private company.

1930s The yard rode out the Depression thanks to the continual demand for motor barges, "Flower" class corvettes and frigates (which were the key output during World War II as well).

WWII As well as the above, the Ministry of War Transport also ordered six "Bird" class barges. Bombing during the War caused minor damage to the four berths and dry docks.

1950s The post war period saw a return to pleasure paddle steamers, lightships, Bristol dredgers and hoppers along with several tugs and a steam salvage tug.

1960s The 60s began with the construction of a large tanker followed by coasters, ferries and other large ships.

1961 Shipbuilders, ship repairers, dry dock proprietors and general engineers.

1975 The yard closed when it ran out of money and was unable to secure any Government funding. The site of the shipyard is now a marina and it contains the restored Bristol steamship, Great Britain, which was the first screw driven steamer in the world.

The yard was taken over by Abels Shipbuilders

1981 Acquired the Octavius Hunt company, maker of smoke pesticides and certain fireworks, from its private owners[1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Dec 18, 1981