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Leith Shipyards

They Once Were Shipbuilders

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland.

We want the website to also be a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.

Welcome to the website we call Leith shipyards, primarily about the shipyard that was Henry Robb shipbuilders. This part of the website will also delve into the history of the four previous shipyards that all became the Henry Robb shipyards.

We aim for this website to one of the best and most informative maritime websites on the web, a tall order but with help it shall be the place to visit for anything to do with the sea and ships. This website is intended to compliment the books on the shipyard and the ships built at Leith.

With a particular bias on ships built in Leith shipyards. After all they had been building ships at Leith for more than 600 years before the last shipyard was closed down. (Let us know how we are doing or what you would like to be included on the site.)

Remember this is a growing and ongoing site, being updated as time and research permit, so keep checking in to see what's new.

We would like to hear from you if you have any connection with a Leith shipyard.

All information is welcome; you may have served on one of the ships, we want to hear your story.

We would also appreciate any photographs/drawings of the ships.

We intend with "YOUR HELP" to make this the definitive story of the ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard.

The site is about a shipyard, but we all know each ship has her own history, and of course all of the men and women who sailed on the ship have their stories to tell so, would love to hear from any one who sailed on those ships.

And as this site is run by a shipbuilder, we also intend to create a virtual library (Mould Loft) of some of the fine vessels built, they will be faithful recreations of the vessels, using the original offsets, ship drawings and Lines plans will also be created.

So for all you model makers and interested people keep on coming back, to see what has been added.

Leith Shipyards is the website for all ship enthusiasts.

This site is dedicated to the ships built at the last shipyard, on the River Forth – the Henry Robb shipyard at Leith.

The site is also dedicated to all the men and women who may have worked there or served on any of the 500 or more ships built in Leith at the Henry Robb shipyard. But the story goes back further as the Henry Robb Shipyard ended up as an amalgamation of no less than four previous shipyards and in fact the story of shipbuilding on this small bit of land by the waters edge goes back to the Shipyard of Thomas Morton & Company which started in 1844.

Thomas Morton was the Shipwright responsible for the invention of the "Patent Slipway".

So look forward to information on the previous shipyards which help to form the long pedigree of the shipbuilders of Henry Robb, from Thomas Morton & Co, to Hawthorns & Co onto Cran & Somerville Shipbuilders, then Ramage & Ferguson Shipbuilders, which combined with Robb's built more than 1,100 ships of all kinds.


Above can be seen the builders plate from the ice breaking tug SCOT II. A vessel that I was heavily involved in when a group were trying to re-build/re-condition her. Not sure what happened to the efforts to raise even more money or if the project is just tied up at a mooring or the Caledonian Canal, perhaps one of our readers will be able to throw some light onto just what happened with the SCOT II

She was built at the Henry Robb Shipyard as ship No 184 and launched at the yard way back in 1931. As you can see below, she was a nice little ice-breaking tug, with many uses while still whole, I am led to believe that the waterways people did a real job on her before selling her on.


A small collage showing shipbuilding at Leith


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