The Ship

SS Freshspring is recognised as being a vessel of National Importance and is on the register of Historic Ships formed by National Historic Ships UK (Reg. number 28).

Being an historic ship, Steamship Freshspring is remarkably complete; her hull and superstructure are substantially intact, whilst her steam engines are in outstanding condition due to the care given to them over time. Built in 1946, she was the last of 14 Fresh Class water carriers, all of which were 121 feet in length. Her duty was to replenish Naval ships with fresh water for use in boilers. She also acted as a fire tender and salvage vessel when required.

Steamship Freshspring in Bristol early 1980's

Her form reflects her role as a Royal Navy (RN) water carrier, with her pre-Second World War configuration her form reflects the type of general cargo vessel that was the work-horse of the British mercantile fleet from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.

Our plans are to bring SS Freshspring back to operational condition for a sustainable future use, whilst retaining her external form and sympathetically converting her internal water tank spaces, mean that she will be the only operational vessel of this type. In the meantime presenting her afloat in Bideford as a static exhibit, means that she will be the only vessel of her type and age accessible to the general public.

image of SS Freshspring


Do you want to know all the intricate details from the length of the hull to the capacity of the main cargo pump. They’re all here.

A diagramaticla tour of SS Freshspring

Take a tour

Get all the details of each and every of the ship from crew space right through to the cable lockers.

Steamship Freshspring in Bristol early 1980's

Uncover the history

Read about the background of this historic ship, from SS Freshspring’s launch in 1946 to where she is this present day.

Help us!

Help us restore and preserve this wonderful piece of history.

All donations towards our cause, big or small, are greatly appreciated and vital to achieving our aims. 


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If you would like more information on the SS Freshspring or how you can get involved, send us a message.

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