Part of the Acorn Archive

Hearts of Oak





The Concrete Barges at each end of Cornwall.


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CRETABODE  On the Tamar, near Plymouth

ON 142701

Ferroconcrete dumb barge.
Built 1918  Hill, Richards & Co. Ltd., Hamworthy, Poole, U.K.

CRETABODE was launched for Concrete Seacraft Ltd., who were based at Fiddler’s Ferry on the Mersey, and had their subcontractor at Hamworthy, Poole.  Hill, Richards & Co. Ltd. were established, under contract to the Marine & General Concrete Construction Syndicate Ltd, the Lake Shipyard at Hamworthy, Poole Harbour.

662 grt, 620 nrt

190ft x 35ft 8ins x 15ft 5ins

Built with concrete guard rail at bow and stern, hatchcombing amidships, and a wheelhouse, funnel and boat in davit aft. The smokestack was from a boiler which served winches, pumps, etc.,.

1917 Ordered as PD 26.

1918 Completed for The Shipping Controller, London, U.K. as CRETABODE.

1921 Transferred to The Board of Trade, London, U.K.

1922 Crete Shipping Co. Ltd., London, U.K. (managed by Stelp & Leighton Ltd.)

1923 Albert Batchelor, Broadstairs

1935 George Batchelor, Rochester

1936 George J. Mills, Higham

1942 Sold to U.K. Government 

The CRETABODE was laid up ( with CRETEFIELD and CRETESHORE ) between the wars, at Wiveliscombe Creek, near Plymouth.


Viscount Lennox-Boyd acquired Ince Castle around 1955. He was Colonial Secretary 1954-59. He objected to these hulks being placed in front of his house and the Queen’s harbourmaster had them moved to the Torpoint shore, around 1955.

Locals again objected and one of the hulks was towed out to sea and scuttled,

around 1956.


The CRETABODE had been damaged when it had been beached, but later she was re-floated with great difficutly and towed to her present position off Deadman’s Point, St Johns Lake, on the Cornish side of the Tamar estuary, protecting the shore of HMS Raleigh.





Thanks to David Page for the pictures of the CRETABODE



Raymond Forward