Thames barge parade - downstream - Ardwina 6765c.JPG
Ardwina upstream of Tower Bridge, London. 2017
United Kingdom
NameArdwina (1909-2018)
  • E.J. & W.Goldsmith of Grays (1909-1938)
  • Metcalf Motor Coasters(1938-1950)
  • Daniels (1950-1959)
  • Brian Herve (1959-1961)
  • G.Newman of Maldon (1961-1966)
  • J.Hunt & R. Hogben (1966-1971)
  • J. Hunt (1971)
  • Porter.
  • Rolfe-Judd (1980-2018)
BuilderW.H. Orvis, Ipswich
IdentificationUnited Kingdom Official Number 129016
StatusYacht barge
General characteristics
Class and typeThames barge
Tonnage66 GRT
Length85 feet (25.91 m)
Beam21.1 feet (6.43 m)
Draught6.4 feet (1.95 m)
Sail planSpritsail

Ardwina was the last wooden Thames barge to be built in Ipswich. This was in 1909. She was registered in London. She worked commercially until 1956. She was laid up after a collision and restored as a yacht conversion. [1] She is still sailing in 2018, based at St Katherine Docks, and regularly passes under Tower Bridge.[2]


Ardwina is 85 feet (25.91 m) long, 21.1 feet (6.43 m) wide and has a draught of 6.4 feet (1.95 m). She was built of wood by W.H.Orvis of Ipswich.[3] for E.J. & W.Goldsmith of Grays.,[4] she is assessed at 66 GRT.


The Ardwina sailed for many years out of Grays, working for Goldsmith's.[5] She ran on one occasion from Grays to Calais in 10¼ hours. On another occasion she was demasted in the channel, the crew were taken off and she was put on tow. The tow rope broke twice and she drifted in the shipping lanes for four days before she was captured and towed to harbour by a French motor coaster.[6] Following a further accident in the Thames she was bought and converted into a barge yacht.

See also


  1. ^ Walsh 1986, p. 93.
  2. ^ Tower Bridge opening times
  3. ^ Carr 1986, p. 221.
  4. ^ SSBR Active barge list
  5. ^ Benham 1986, p. 160.
  6. ^ March 1951, p. 89.