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Coordinates: 54°38′20″N 1°12′04″W / 54.639°N 1.201°W / 54.639; -1.201

Graythorp was a village and now a trading estate within the borough of Hartlepool and the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It is located on the A178 Tees Road about 1 mile south of Hartlepool.

The village was constructed by shipbuilder William Gray and Company to house workers at his Graythorp shipyard on Greatham Creek/Seaton Channel on the river Tees. Graythorp today is an industrial estate historically associated with a shipyard basin currently operated by Able UK as a marine recycling facility.

Dock history[edit]

In 1913 the Hartlepool shipbuilders William Gray & Company constructed a shipyard off Greatham Creek near the mouth of the Tees capable of building ships of 20,000 tons in weight.[1] The yard became known as Graythorp Shipyard and Gray constructed ships there from 1913 until the company closed in 1963. In 1969 after liquidation the yard was purchased by Laing Offshore.[1]

In 1970 Laing added dock gates to create a 100 hectares (250 acres) dry dock, at the time the largest in the world,[2] and with it constructed offshore oil and gas platforms, and jackets (platform legs) from 1970 to 1990.[1] In 1996 Able UK Ltd purchased the yard and used it to do dismantling work for several petrochemical companies, while allowing the tenant construction of other marine structures.[1][2] In 2003 Able UK signed an £11m deal with the US Marine Administration to dismantle 13 US warships, but only four of the ships have arrived. The process is currently stalled as there are environmental objections due to the presence on these ships of asbestos and PCBs.[2] In 2009 the former French aircraft carrier Clemenceau, in its time the largest in the world, arrived in the dock for dismantling.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c d "History of TERRC". Able Ship Recycling. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Able UK". BBC Home. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Graythorp Dock". BBC Home. February 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 

External links[edit]