Certificate no 470
Status National Historic Fleet


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location Faversham
Vessel type Spritsail Barge
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes
Info required Yes


Builder Clark & Standfield, Grays
Built in 1900
Hull material Iron
Rig Spritsail
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
20.30 feet (6.19 m)
6.39 feet (1.95 m)
Length: Overall
84.95 feet (25.91 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


IRONSIDES was built by Stanfield and Clarke, Grays, Essex in 1900 and sold to Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers. She carried stone from Portland to London under sail alone. She was nearly lost after a collision at Limehouse around 1909 and nearly lost again in a gale at Dungeness in 1928. That year she was sold to the London Rochester Trading Co. and converted to a motor barge (single hatch) in 1938.

She was damaged in the Docklands Blitz in 1940.

In 1967 she was converted to a charter yacht and became a regular winner of the Champion Barge. She has now been authentically re-rigged as a Thames Sailing Barge, although she has been converted below for charter and private groups. The iron hull has been extensively replated in steel.

Current owner from March 2012, Toby Lester, restoration almost complete but ongoing with this year 2016 attending as many functions as possible.

We are currently seeking further information on this National Historic Fleet vessel. If you have any details about this vessel past or present, please contact us.


Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, pp154, Edition 2, 1993 
Wood, D G, Barges Sailing Today: Sailing Barge Information Pamplet No: 1, Society for Spritsail Barge Research, 1995
Classic Boat: Ironsides wins second Solent barge match, March 2002

Key dates

  • 1900

    Built by Clarke & Stanfield, Grays, Essex

  • 1900-1928

    Owned by Associated Portland Cement and carried stone from Portland to London under sail alone

  • 1928

    Sold to the London & Rochester Trading Company

  • 1938

    Converted to a motor barge

  • 1940

    Damaged by enemy action in World War II

  • 1967

    Converted to a charter yacht

  • 1984

    Interior refurbished


  • January 2019

    A Sustainability Award of £1000 for a new racing sale was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships UK

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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