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Barrow Steam Navigation Company  :  Isle of Man and Northern Ireland Services

The Barrow Steam Navigation Company ran services from Barrow to the Isle of Man and Belfast. It was owned by the Midland railway, the Furness Railway and James Little & Co.  It operated the Manxman of 1870 which had been called Antrim until transferred from the Irish to the Douglas route between 1880 and 1903 and two second-hand paddle steamers, both on the Barrow to Douglas route. Two larger screw steamers were built new in the 1890s for the company's Belfast route. 
In 1907 it was absorbed into the Midland Railway, which operated ferries from Heysham. By this time, only one paddle steamer was left in the fleet and the Duchess of Buccleugh was soon to be disposed of.

Built in 1864 by Caird & Co at Greenock
236.6 ft : 559 GRT
2 cyl oscillating simple
Built for the Glasgow-Belfast service of Burns, McIver & Co
Purchased in 1865
Scrapped in 1887

In 1867, the company operated the paddle steamers Talbot and Shelburne  ex- Cork & Milford Haven Steamship Co

Built in 1865 by Caird & Co at Greenock
241.1 ft : 686 GRT
2 cyl oscillating compounded in 1881 by D&W Henderson at Glasgow
Built for the Glasgow-Belfast service of Burns, McIver & Co as Buffalo
Purchased in 1881
Scrapped in 1897

Built in 1866 by Caird & Co at Greenock
243.2 ft : 701 GRT
2 cyl oscillating 58 and 58 in x 72 in. c
Built for the Glasgow-Belfast service of Burns, McIver & Co as Camel
Purchased in 1881 for the Barrow-Belfast route and renamed Londonderry
Scrapped in 1904

Above : Manxman, seen in a J Valentine post card (3541 first printed in 1883, three years after the ship was transferred from the Belfast run) in Douglas Bay.
Source : imuseum  Courtesy of Manx National Heritage.  Link


Built in 1870 by R Duncan & Co at Port Glasgow
230 ft : 515 GRT  (later 266.6 ft : 762 GRT after lengthening by Barrow Shipbuilding Co in 1880)
2 cyl oscillating 48.5 and 48.5 in x 72 in by Rankin & Blackmore at Greenock

Originally on the Barrow - Belfast service as Antrim
Transferred to the Douglas service in 1880 and renamed Manxman
Withdrawn in 1903

Above : Manx Queen (ex Duchess of Edinburgh of 1880 built for the South Eastern Railway's Dover-Calais run but found to be inadequate) ran from 1883 to 1907
Photo : Photographer unknown. Source : imuseum  Courtesy of Manx National Heritage.  Link

Manx Queen
Built in 1880 by J&G Thomson at Clydebank
250.2 ft : 812 GRT as built : lengthened in 1883 to 278.9 ft : 989 GRT
Engines : Compound oscillating 46 and 88 in x 72 in

Above : Duchess of Buccleugh (ex- Rouen, purchased from the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway's Newhaven-Dieppe service) ran from 1903 to 1909
Photo :

Duchess of Buccleugh
Built in 1888 by the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co of Govan
250.6 ft : 838 GRT
Engines : Compound diagonal 46 and 83 in x 72 in

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