Waverley made her triumphant return to service in August 2020 following her boiler refit. However Waverley is now critically short of funds to survive this winter. Without further support she can’t return to service in 2021. We are therefore asking for your help by donating to Waverley’s COVID-19 Relief Appeal.

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Kingswear Castle on the River Dart.


1904
  • Kingswear Castle’s engine built by Cox & Co. of Falmouth for the previous vessel of the same name.
1924
  • Date of build, engine transferred from the 1904 Kingswear Castle.
1961-2
  • Extensive re-plating below the water line and re-boilered.
1964
  • Kingswear Castle becomes the last operational paddle steamer on the River Dart.
1965
  • Kingswear Castle withdrawn from service at the end of the season.
1967
  • Purchased in June for £600 by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.
  • Towed on 28th August to Medina Creek, Isle of Wight, and moored alongside PS Medway Queen.
1969
  • First sailing under Paddle Steamer Preservation Society ownership when she was steamed for the BBC TV series ‘Bird’s Eye View’.
1971
  • Towed in June to River Medway for comprehensive restoration.
1982
  • Boiler is steamed for the first time on 20th November.
1983
  • Steaming and manoeuvring trials carried out between 4th and 6th November on completion of restoration.
1984
  • Limited passenger carrying certificate issued for 12 passengers.
1985
  • Full passenger carrying certificate issued in May 1985.
  • Full sailing programme commenced on 18th May 1985
  • First ever trip on 21st September 1985 from Strood through the Swale to Whitstable. Read more…
1986
  • Kingswear Castle wins National Steam Heritage Award.
1987
  • Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher boards Kingswear Castle on 1st June 1987 during the General Election campaign.
1994
  • First prize winner in Scania Transport Trust Awards.
2001
  • New coal fired boiler installed with support from Heritage Lottery Fund, Manifold Trust and the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.
2012
  • Kingswear Castle appears at for Queen Elizabeth II’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3rd June 2012
  • Kingswear Castle departs Chatham Historic Dockyard on 11th December to return to her birthplace, the River Dart in Devon.
2013
  • Kingswear Castle’s first cruise on the River Dart takes place on 29th March 2013, her first since 1965. Read more…
2014
  • Kingswear Castle wins Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Engineering Heritage Award in May 2014. Read more…
2017
  • Engine removed to repair a small crack in her low pressure cylinder. Read more…
2019
  • Kingswear Castle recognised by National Historic Ships UK as the South West Regional Flagship of the Year. Read more…
2020
  • COVID-19 global pandemic reduces passenger capacity and shortens season to July through September.