The Harland and Wolff (H&W) shipyard was founded in 1862 by Edward James Harland and Gustav Wilhelm Wolff. The massive cranes of H&W still standing tall at Queen’s Island is a testament to Belfast’s glorious maritime past and one of the prominent landmarks in Belfast. These cranes are affectionately known by locals as Samson & Goliath. Designed by Krupp Ardelt, the first Goliath was completed in 1969 while the second one, Samson, was completed in 1974.
Harland and Wolff is famous for building RMS Titanic and all the ships intended for the White Star Line. Other well- known ships built by H&W include Titanic’s sister ships RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic, the Royal Navy’s HMS Belfast, Royal Mail Line’s Andes, Shaw Savill’s Southern Cross, Union-Castle’s RMS Pendennis Castle, and P&O’s Canberra.
During its heyday between 1900 and 1930, Harland & Wolff employed more people than any company in Belfast, due to the high demand of ocean liners, and is recognised worldwide as the biggest shipbuilders.
H&W played an important role during the wars, too. During World War I they built monitors and cruisers, including the 15-inch gun armed HMS Glorious. During World War II, they built six aircraft carriers, two cruisers (including HMS Belfast) and more than a hundred other naval ships, and repairing over 22,000 vessels. They also manufactured tanks and artillery components. After the war, competition and decline in the demand of ocean liners put pressures in the shipbuilding industry so the last liner completed was the SS Canberra for P&O in 1961.
At present, Harland & Wolff is focusing less on ship building and expanding more on offshore wind power industry. They are also now a leading offshore fabrication and ship repair yard.
H&W headquarters and drawing offices can still be visited today and are open to the public as part of the Titanic Belfast Discovery Walking Tour.
- 12.30pm Mon – Fri (Oct – March)
- 12.30pm, 2.00pm Sat – Sun (Oct – March)
- 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm (April – Sept)
Extended Festive Season Tours
- 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2.00pm (27 December 2015 – 3 January 2016)
- Adults £7
- Children £5
- Students and Senior Citizens £6
*Times and prices may change so please check their website directly for updated information.LESS INFORMATION