Certificate no 2195
Status Registered


Function Passenger Vessel
Subfunction Ferry
Location Windermere
Vessel type Ferry
Current use Museum based
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Unknown
Built in
Hull material
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Manpower
Primary engine type None
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
11.25 feet (3.43 m)
Length: Overall
39.48 feet (12.04 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



Build date uncertain: 1799 -1870. If constructed in 1870 (latest construction date) this would seem to make her the earliest surviving ferry boat in the UK. If the 1799 date is correct, she would be the earliest-surviving public-service boat in the UK. Rowing ferry-boat used as the link to Belle Isle. MARY ANNE was recovered by a team of divers in 1978, and was displayed outside as an exhibit at the former Steam Boat Museum until 2007 approximately. Decades spent in Lake Windermere and then constant exposure to weather conditions had caused the boat to deteriorate. She was collapsing under her own weight. 

2014: In order to buy time a programme of stabilisation and recording was developed and implemented:

- Initially this included straps to prevent the port and starboard freeboard falling outwards, removal of heavy oar riggers, and creating a timber framed tarpaulin over the boat.
- The boat was so collapsed and out of shaped that there were only two stations, (the transom and one close to the bow) that could be used to take the lines using traditional lofting techniques. A method of recording was required that could capture fabric details and shape before any interventions were made. For this reason, photogrammetry was chosen. This allowed a record of the shape to be made in collapsed condition. 

Photogrammetry whilst well established in the heritage field, has in this case employed an aspect possibly a first in the field of conserving historic vessels. The CAD model was superimposed onto Victorian photographs allowing re-fairing to more closely match original shape. This accuracy could not be achieved from lines taken from a vessel in collapsed condition. Using an accurate 3D model, faired from historic photos, has allowed design of a support cradle providing a means to remedy a hull collapsing under its own weight, without any loss of fabric. Significance is retained.

2019: MARY ANNE is now awaiting further conservation, but is stabilised and exhibited under a building overhang, out of the weather.

Key dates

  • 1978

    Raised from Lake Windermere by team of divers

  • 1978-2007

    On display at former Steamboat Museum, Windermere

  • 2014

    A conservation programme for Mary Anne included the use of photogrammetry to build a cradle and support the vessel

  • March 2019 -

    March 2019, MARY ANNE is now awaiting further conservation, but is stabilised and exhibited under a building overhang, out of the weather, at the new Lakeland Arts Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories.

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

More like this

Balmoral - underway, starboard view

National Historic Fleet, built 1949 by Thornycroft, J I & Co Ltd, Woolston, Southampton

Sheppey Queen

Registered, built 1946 by Sittingbourne Building Co Ltd, Sittingbourne

Royal Iris alongside the quay

Registered, built 1950 by Denny, William & Bros Ltd, Dumbarton

passenger accommodation

Registered, built 1946 by Rowhedge Iron Works Co Ltd, Rowhedge