PS Kingswear Castle

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PS Kingswear Castle01.JPG
PS Kingswear Castle
Red Ensign (UK)United Kingdom
Name: PS Kingswear Castle
Namesake: Kingswear Castle in Devon, UK
  • River Dart Steamboat Company (1924)
  • Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust (1985)
  • Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company (2012)[1]
Ordered: 1924
Builder: Philip and Son, Dartmouth, UK
Launched: 1924
Status: Active
General characteristics
Type: Paddlesteamer
  • 113.75 ft (34.67 m) LOA
  • 108.14 ft (32.96 m) LBP
Beam: 17.43 ft (5.31 m)
Draught: 3.43 ft (1.05 m)
Propulsion: Compound Diagonal Steam engine (1904) built by Cox and Co of Falmouth

PS Kingswear Castle is a steamship. She is a coal-fired river paddle steamer, dating from 1924 with engines from 1904. After running summer excursions on the River Medway and the Thames for many years she returned to the River Dart in Devon in December 2012 to run excursions from 2013 onwards on the river she was built on and for. Kingswear Castle is listed as part of the National Historic Fleet of ships of "Pre-eminent National Significance".


detail of paddle box, Kingswear Castle 28-4-1973 during restoration on a slipway at Medway Marina, Rochester.

The Kingswear Castle was built by Philip & Sons of Dartmouth in 1924 for service on the River Dart, following sister ships Compton Castle and Totnes Castle, and was operated by the River Dart Steamboat Co. Her predecessor of the same name from 1904 is now a rotted and barely recognisable hulk in the River Dart, but the engines were re-used in the current steamboat.[2]

Kingswear Castle was chartered to the United States Navy during World War II, and was used for carrying stores and personnel at Dartmouth. In 1965 Kingswear Castle was withdrawn from service and became the first purchase of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) two years later. She was then taken to the Isle of Wight and was moored at Island Harbour Marina from August 1967 to June 1971. However, due to her deteriorating condition, she was then taken to the River Medway.

After various difficulties and a great deal of restoration work she was finally brought into service again in 1985, and is now operated by the Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust based at Chatham Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent, in association with the PSPS. The PSPS also has a subsidiary, "Waverley Excursions", operating Waverley and Balmoral.

On 18 December 2012 she returned to the River Dart, under charter to the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company, to again run passenger trips around Dartmouth Harbour and up river to Totnes.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle". Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Paddle Steamer - PS Kingswear Castle - 1924". Dartmouth Museum. Retrieved 13 May 2012. The Kingswear Castle was withdrawn from service in 1924 after a distinguished career, and her rusting remains can be seen on the left bank of the Dart on the excursion by river to Totnes. 
  3. ^ "Paddlesteamer Kingswear Castle returns home to the Dart after 50 years". Western Morning News. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012. Andrew Pooley, general manager of Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company, said: "It has taken nearly three years' negotiations to persuade the trustees that we have the marine expertise and steam engineering skills to look after this historic vessel in perpetuity 
  4. ^ "Reasons for the Move". Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust. Retrieved 18 December 2012. ...after consultation with the Council of Management of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society and others, it has finally been agreed that from 2013 Kingswear Castle will be taken on long term charter by the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Co and returned to service on the River Dart. As a result the business here on the Medway will close. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°23′40″N 0°31′29″E / 51.39444°N 0.52472°E / 51.39444; 0.52472