The Stather's Shipping Heritage
Shipping has always been a part of this riverside village's history and the reason for its existence. The stather has been a port since at least Roman times. Goods have been loaded and unloaded at the wharf, brickworks and sandpit over the years. Ferries have crossed the river to the Garthorpe side and travelled along the river to Hull and Gainsborough.
John Wray & Son
One of the more notable shipping activities over the years was a large ship yard at the site which is now Kingsferry Wharf. John Wray & Son built ships on The Trent for more than a century from to . During this time the yard produced more than 300 ships, from large ocean going barques and schooners which travelled the entire globe, to local Humber sloops and fishing smacks for the Hull and Grimsby fleets which were booming in the late nineteenth century.
We are compiling a database of the ships built at Burton, you can explore this in the Ship List section of the site. Research is on-going so we don't have records for all vessels as yet, some have more detailed information than others. There are currently 285 ships in the database, 55 of them have stories written about them. We have featured some of the more notable ships listed below.
Burton Stather- The largest, most prestigious and high spec ship ever built by the yard. A sparkling career that spanned the globe from London to South Africa and Australia to Hong Kong, carrying some famous names as passengers, before being lost without trace.
Young Dick- Probably the most dramatic story of all our ships. A tale of exotic locations and bloody conflict within one of the more controversial trades of the late nineteenth century. Find out what made this Stather schooner an unforgettable part of Queensland history, in a story yet untold in her homeland; until now.
Sigurfari- The only known ship from our yard still in existence. This ketch rigged smack survived fishing in the cold, unforgiving North Sea and North Atlantic for almost a whole century, not retiring until the 1970s. Now a museum piece in Iceland.
Indipup- Not one of Wray's ships of course, but this unassuming little lifeboat, a favourite at our events, has an unexpected past life as a veteran of The Cod Wars in the 1970s.
James Smith- Random Pick selected from the database. The Ketch ‘James Smith’, Official Number 93922, built at John Way & Sons shipyard, Burton Stather in 1886.
Use the interactive map to explore the places where the known ships built at Burton Stather met their fate around the globe. Most are concentrated around the UK coast, use the zoom and pan tools to navigate the map. Click a wreck icon to find out more about the wreck. You can download our KML File and view the ship locations in Google Earth and other mapping software.