Buckler’s Hard and its Ships, published 1906



A history of this important old centre for ship building, and now a destination for yacht owners and tourists.

‘Many cottages, now no longer needed, and falling to pieces, have had to be pulled down, and closed is the inn kept once by Mr Hemmons, where the shipwrights and caulkers were paid; as is the New Inn, with its traditions of a ”Smuggler’s Hole,” kept till much later times by Mr. Wort, who was succeeded by his son Joseph. James Bown, probably the ancestor of the Bound family today, no longer fires the kiln, and only hollows in a meadow and by the waterside tell where the ”top and bottom sawyers” laboured. The site of the mould-loft in the lower yard can still be pointed out. The blacksmith’s shop, part of which existed in the writer’s time, and which only ceased operations in 1885, is no more. The last of the Buckles went away with its disappearance, to settle down again as a repairer of agricultural implements and traction engines beyond Lymington.

‘Some three miles by land and five by water, away up the wooded estuary lie the shipwrights and caulkers resting in in the peaceful churchyard of Beaulieu Abbey, side by side with the last Hampshire iron-founders from Sowley Pond.

‘The only actual link with the past which has been known to me personally was an old copper riveter, named Glasby, whom I remember quite well, who died at the ripe age of ninety-one. He could well remember working at the ships in his youth, and was proud to talk about his memories of the time when oak, not iron, ruled the waves’

YouTube video of ship building in Faversham Creek

Patrick Hay has written to drawn attention to a fabulous YouTube video about the history of Faversham Creek including some splendid footage of the famous sideways launch and some authentic voices. It’s a great way to spend 11 minutes, particularly if you know the area.