The first large Thornycroft steam launch was built on the River Thames. Sir John Thornycroft’s father, Thomas, bought riverside ground adjacent to Chiswick Church in 1866 and this was the beginning of the Church Wharf Shipbuilding Yard of John I. Thornycroft and Company.

The company made a name for fast launches and in 1876 built H.M.S. Lightning for the British Navy – the first torpedo boat.

Thornycroft had become established as a world wide name in fast naval craft by the time the shipyard moved to Southampton in 1904.

In 1928 its founder died and the company remained in the hands of the Thornycroft family until 1965, when it became part of the Vosper Thornycroft Group and subsequently part of British Shipbuilders.

If you’d like to own a real Thornycroft yourself, we currently have the superb Lorita on our books.