Certificate no 2333
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location gillingham
Vessel type Humber Keel
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Dunston, Richard, Thorne
Built in 1925
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
15.50 feet (4.73 m)
Length: Overall
61.50 feet (18.76 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



FERNCLIFFE is a Humber Keel barge built by Richard Dunston of Thorne in 1925. She is of iron clinker construction and has a Rootes Lister Blackstone TS3 engine She was originally owned by Bleasdale's Shipping Company and used for transporting grain with her many sister ships whose names all had the suffix -cliffe. In 1957 all Bleasdale boats were taken over by the British Transport Commission for non payment of tolls and FERNCLIFFE was later sold to Waddingtons of Swinton who sold her on in 2007. She was bought by her current owner in 2010 and now lies in the River Medway. FERNCLIFFE has historical significance as an unaltered example of a Dunstons of Thorne Sheffield size Humber Keel.

Key dates

  • 1925

    Built by Richard Dunston of Thorne as a Cargo Vessel for Bleasdales Shipping Company to transport grain

  • 1957

    When Bleasdales defaulted on their mortgage, the vessel was taken over by the British Transport Commission

  • 1960s

    Sold to Waddington’s of Swinton

  • 2007

    Sold to another owner

  • 2010

    Sold to present owner

  • 2016

    Vessel is thought to be in poor condition on the Medway being restored


  • January 2011

    A Sustainability Award of £1000 towards new hatchboards and the cabin roof was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships. Grant withdrawn February 2012. Source: National Historic Ships

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

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