HEREFORD 19TH CENTURY SHIPBUILDING: CHEPSTOW SHIPS (FARR)
‘Chepstow Ships’ by Grahame E Farr. These are extracts of the Custom and Excise records kept at Customs House in Chepstow from 1752 until 1882 when the Chepstow Customs and Excise function was transferred to Gloucester as the major port. They give a detailed insight into the skills of the boat, shipyards and quality of both wooden and iron ships built in the Wye Valley and in particular, the ships constructed on the Bishops Meadow and in and around Hereford.
Arthur S. Wood: ‘Notes on sale of navy timber, in the years 1812-13’. The For Sale particulars at the top of page 4641 state, ‘Vowchurch, Twelve miles from the City of Hereford and Six miles from Canon Bridge, from whence, down the Navigable River Wye, the Timber may be readily conveyed to any Port or Yards in the Kingdom’.
So even though the 1734 Act of Parliament had allowed the Weirs to be Breached and the Locks made unusable because lack of water, the River Wye was still a working Navigation.
To all Port Sanitary Authorities: ‘Regulations as the Cholera, Yellow Fever, and Plague, dated 9th November 1896’. Part 1. Art.1.The term ‘Ship’ includes vessels or boat.
The Local Government Board, still considered the River Wye a Working Navigation and the City of Hereford a Dock or Harbour that was still usable in 1896.
Hereford Rural District Council minutes dated 14th November 1896. The District Council must have thought this was important because it was the first item on the agenda.
Board of Trade Harbour Department. As late as 1914 the Board of Trade still considered Hereford as a Harbour and a working Navigation.
Standardised Ship-building. The quality of ships built on the River Wye and those built in Hereford at Mr Eastern’s Yard on the Bishops Meadow had set a standard that could be emulated in South Wales.