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Surviving Ferro-Concrete Barges?


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There are some left in Walton on the Naze, 3 i think. I have some pictures somewhere which i shall try to dig up. Unfortunately they are full of concrete now for "safety"


I believe they were used to carry fuel for the d-day landings and/or as part of the mulberry harbour. They were made of concrete because of the lack of steel in wartime.


The known places where they are include

Medway Tunnel

Tring - Grand union canal

South pier road, Ellesmere Port boat museum

Bramble Island




River Blackwater/Mersey/Mersea Island

The Thames

Rochester, kent

Filton gloucester River Severn

Gloucester docks

Queensborough harbour Kent

Queensborough yacht club

Winnington, River Weaver.

Dibden Bay

West Quay, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex. x3 - houseboats


Rainham marsh



and also:

New york (State)




Locations:http://www.forsakenplaces.co.uk/Urbexreports/mini reports/Barges/concretebarges.htm

Edited by MHillyard
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That's brilliant, thanks for the information and especially for the photos. A great example of simple ingenuity in the face of material shortages.


Another interesting topic is that of the concrete sea forts in the Thames, designed by Guy Maunsell - who I think was the son of the Southern Railway's locomotive engineer. Some info at http://www.undergroundkent.co.uk/maunsell_towers.htm I hope soon to borrow a book on the subject.

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I have seen the ones opposite the Yacht club at queenborough. & actually been on one of them. I often wondered what they were for as a kid! When you think of the time they were built. & are STILL in use today. Thats quite a feat of engineering! (& cost effective!) Hollow Hull CONCRETE, & it FLOATS on WATER! mind Boggling, isnt it?.......:nut:

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There are a couple still in use on the Thames. They are moored close to the southern bank of the river opposite Victoria Tower Gardens, between the Houses of Parliament and Lambeth Bridge. You can see them on Google maps using the satellite view.

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Not all of them worked as well, new technology at the time I suppose.

There is a section of mulberry harbour still in Langstone harbour, Hayling island. It never made the trip to France as it had a structural fault that cracked it in half.

You can see it on Google earth sat in the middle of the harbour.


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There was 1 at 'The Point' on Canvey Island up until a few years ago, beached high and dry, it had a hole conveniently knocked in the side so it was easy to get into, and was made much use of for young men and their girl friends (who me?), not sure how many preganencies it was responcible for though! ( I got away with that too!)

It was also used by the 'Shadows' pop group for filming for Top of The Pops, I and my brother happened to be there going fishing 1 day, but ended up helping them as we knew the flats well, and got a ride home with them in their Limo!

Sadly it got demolished a few years back as it got into a dangerous state of di-repair, sad to see it go in that way.

There are a couple that broke away and go stuck on a sand bank in the Thames Estuary just off Southend, they are still there and easily seen at low water and good for fishing round at high.

I'm told these are from the same flotilla as the one that ended up on Canvey Point.

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Yes, thats the one!

I know a few of those names, it says something when that was one of the best 'tourists attractions canvey could offer!!

I grew up on Canvey from the age of 5, spent 21 years there when it was all fields, not anything like it is now:(!

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  • 1 month later...

I can't add any more as I was going to mention the ones at Walton on Naze too. I used to sail around, up to and clamber over them as a yoof in my Mirror dinghy...aah halcyon days. Seems ages ago, well 25 years ago but a blink of an eye for the barges.

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  • 9 years later...

Re Concrete Barges at Walton on the Naze

we used to holiday there in a caravan in the late 50s and early 60s.


my brother and I used to go crabbing in the barges.  The crabs were massive but generally let go as soon as they were out of the water.  The water was about eight feet below the deck.


They still had lids to the compartments and the barges were not accessible when the tide was in.

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