Great Western Dockyard


Great Western Dry dock was built in1839 of pennant rubble and brick. It is bow-ended and brick based, with a curved section to the entrance. It has stepped sides and iron caisson single-leaf dock gate. It was built for the construction of Brunel’s SS Great Britain, launched from the dock in 1843.

The SS Great Western was designed by IK Brunel and built by shipbuilder William Paterson at a shipyard on Wapping Wharf from 1836. He then became responsible for building the SS Great Britain at Great Western Dockyard.

PBAN5237 Copy of a negative of W Patterson taken from Centenary of the Great Western

ssgb launch.jpg_tmp

IK Brunel – Cartoon from Being Brunel
Johann Jacob Weber 1803 to 1880.PNG
Picture by Johann Jacob Weber 1803 to 1880
PBAN6136 Print of the SS Great Britain at sea after 1852
Launch Bristol City 24August 1899 RW
Launch of SS Bristol City 24 August 1899 – Reece Winstone
Great Western dockyard early 1900s
Great Western Dockyard early 1900s. Occupied by Wickham and Norris, Timber Merchants
Steamship House 1942-factory-after-bombing
Steamship House Great Western Dockyard Bombed 1942
Great Western Dry Dock c1968 Martin Bodman
Great Western Dry Dock c 1968 – Martin Bodman
SS Great Britain in Falklands Islands
The SS Great Britain made its 87-day journey back to Bristol in 1970

Source: Guardian 18th April 2020

Members of the salvage team that rescued SS Great Britain in 1970 including Lyle Craigie-Halkett (far left) and Stuart Whatley (far right). Photograph: Bernhard Schmidt
SS GB 1970
SS GB Avonmouth 1970
SS GB 5 July 1970
SS GB 5 July 1970

SS GB at Cumberland Basin July 1970

SS GB 1970
SS Great Britain returning to Great Western Dock in 1970

The BBC News Report from 1970:
When thousands watched Brunel’s great ship return to Bristol


SS GB at Great Western Dockyard

SS GB at Great Western 9th July 1970 RW
SS Great Britain in Great Western Dock 19 July 1970 – Reece Winstone
SS GB 1971 – Chris Young The Incredible Journey
Speedboat Racing past SS GB – June 1978 – Jane Fewtrell
SS GB 1979 – Chris Young The Incredible Journey
SS GB 1989 -Chris Young The Incredible Journey
Great Western Dockyard 2012s
Great Western Dockyard from the water
Great Western Dockyard 2011
Great Western Dockyard from Clifton Wood
SS GB 2011 s
Great Western Dockyard and the SS Great Britain
22 SSGB Museum 18 Sept 2017
Great Western Dockyard in September 2017 with the new museum ‘Being Brunel’ nearing completion.

Gw Dockyard Today 2
Map of Great Western Dockyard in 2018
SS Great Britain May 2021
SS GB 21 Jan 22
SSGB 19 Aug 21
SS GB Mast maintenance 14 Nov 22

SS GB deck replacement December 2023

By Bea Swallow BBC News, West of England
The deck of an historic ship is undergoing a complete replacement as part of a major conservation project.
New wooden planks will preserve the deck of the SS Great Britain and the original ironwork underneath.
The work began on 4 December and will be completed in sections so that visitors can still explore the ship, which sits on Bristol’s harbourside.
The project is expected to take 32 weeks, and involves 6,050 metres of timber being fitted.
The conservation project is being funded by Arts Council England through the Museum Estate & Development Fund (MEND) to protect the historic vessel.
The new planks for the 98-metre-long ship will be made from accoya wood to provide the the optimum lifespan, with the deck expected to remain in place for at least 50 years.

Replacing the decking 7th December 2023
Deck replacement March 2024

Development of the Albion Yard

Albion Plans 2024
Albion Plans 2024 – Clocktower