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The ship

“Shieldhall” is unique as a time capsule providing a working example of steamship machinery both above and below deck, typical of the cargo and passenger ships that plied the oceans of the world from the 1870s until the mid 1960s, by which time they were all but extinct.

The ship is of special interest as she is built on the classical lines of a 1920s steamer with a traditional wheelhouse; the hull is of riveted and welded construction and this unusual feature is representative of the transitional phase in British shipbuilding when welding took over from riveted practice. The hull has a slightly raked bow and cruiser stern. The teak decks and emergency steering position aft add to the classic effect. Shieldhall was effectively obsolete mechanically at the time of her launch having steam machinery representative of the late 19th century at a time when the diesel engine was coming into its own.

Now believed to be the largest working steam ship in Northern Europe, she is owned and operated entirely by voluntary effort.

“We are Shieldhall”

Steamship Shieldhall is Britain’s largest working steamship. This video introduces her, from her build and working life in the Clyde to her present active retirement based in Southampton.

She has a full program of summer excursions and provides an events venue throughout the year, maintained and operated entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers.

You too are welcome to come aboard and say “We are Shieldhall”.