Certificate no 2389
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location Barnstaple
Vessel type Bristol Tar Barge
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Cock, Robert & Sons, Appledore
Built in 1903
Hull material Steel
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


Air Draft
10.66 feet (3.25 m)
Breadth: Beam
15.00 feet (4.58 m)
3.00 feet (0.92 m)
Length: Overall
74.00 feet (22.57 m)
Tonnage: Gross


DARBY is a Bristol Tar Barge of steel plate construction and has a Perkins T6354.4 diesel engine. She was built in 1903 by Robert Cock & Sons of Appledore in Devon. Her working life until the late 1960s was as a tar barge in the Bristol and Gloucester area for the Bristol and West Tar Distillery. In 2010, DARBY was being converted to a houseboat, based on the River Yeo in Devon.

Key dates

  • 1903

    Built by R Cock of Appledore, Devon as a Bristol Tar Barge on the Gloucester Canal network.

  • 1903 - C1965

     Worked as a Tar Barge in the Bristol and Gloucester area

  • 1965

    Taken over by the British Steel Corporation

  • C1975

    Put up a creek where she filled with mud

  • 2003

    Found by Adam Giffard of Barnstable who started converting her to a Severn Trow to cruise the inland waterways of continental Europe.  He became ill and had to sell her uncompleted

  • 2010

    Bought by present owners

  • 2011

    Being converted to a Houseboat

  • 2015

    In use as a houseboat

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