Priors Boatyard in May. © 2018 Nick Skeens

Established in 1892, Prior’s Boatyard enjoyed a strong reputation for the skill of its shipwrights and the beauty and craftsmanship of their work.

Prior’s was bought in 2019 and is being used to make houseboats.

The yard still has a working slipway capable of handling boats up to 60 tons, down which boats are launched direct from the shed where people have been working on them.

The yard owns swinging moorings in front and to the west of its position in the town centre, plus shore-connected mooring sites for houseboats and other craft in Priors Dock.

Prior’s has a floating pontoon stretching out into the river, which runs a launch service, and has a crane capable of lifting 30 tons out of the water and onto a trailer. Boats are then taken to storage sheds owned by Priors in Chapel Road, or into the nearby  Maltings Shed (the curved-roofed building on the waterfront west of Prior’s Dock.

Prior’s Dock in January. © 2018 Nick Skeens