William Doxford & Sons
Former type Private (Ltd)
Fate Acquired
Successor A&P Group
Founded 1840
Defunct 1986
Headquarters Sunderland, UK
Industry Shipbuilding

William Doxford & Sons Ltd, often referred to simply as Doxford, was a British shipbuilding company. the company was founded in 1840. The firms name finally disappeared in 1986.


File:River Wear 2nd March 1967.jpg

The Company was established by William Doxford in 1840.[1] From 1870 it was based in Pallion, Sunderland, on the River Wear in Northeast England. The Company was managed by William Doxford's four sons following his death in 1882.[1] It was renamed Doxford & Sunderland Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd in 1961 and Doxford & Sunderland Ltd in 1966.[1] It was acquired by Court Line in 1973 at which time it was renamed Sunderland Shipbuilders Ltd.[1]

In the 1970s a new all-weather yard at Pallion was built which could build two ships of up to 30,000 tons deadweight side-by-side. The steel came in at one end, and the completed ship left from the other with engines installed and sometimes with the machinery running.[2]

Court Line collapsed in 1974 and the Company was taken into public ownership (nationalised).[1] It was privatised in 1986 when it was merged with Austin & Pickersgill to form North East Shipbuilders.[1] However within two years of the merger the Doxford Pallion yard had been closed down.[3]


Doxford was a major British shipbuilder; it was also a manufacturer of large marine diesel engines, the last of which was produced in 1980. An example is preserved in the Regional Museums Store at Beamish Museum in County Durham.

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Tyne & Wear Archives
  2. Wilson, Bill (2 September 1992). "Obituary: James Venus". 
  3. Last shipyard BBC News, 28 November 2008

External links Edit

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