Grace Darling’s boat

Most families now have a car. Grace Darling used a boat instead.​

Most families now have a car. Grace Darling used a boat instead. Grace first lived at Brownsman Island where her family had a garden and kept chickens and geese. When Grace moved to Longstone Island, she regularly had to row over to Brownsman Island to tend their garden, collect eggs and bring back vegetables from the garden to eat.

This boat, called a coble, was used by Grace and William Darling to rescue nine survivors from the wreck of the SS Forfarshire. A coble is a type of boat specially designed for working in the shallow waters of north east England. Originally it would have had a mast as well as oars. This coble was one paid for by Trinity House, who were responsible for lighthouses in England and Wales. It was originally called The Darlings, but renamed Grace Darling after the rescue. The boat was as vital as our cars are today. Rowing was the only way the Darling family could get information, go shopping, or visit friends from the world beyond the lighthouse.

Grace Darling in 10 objects

The RNLI Grace Darling Museum can’t portray the world in 100 objects; but we can give you more information about the life of one of its most celebrated heroines by focusing on the details of 10 different objects on display in the museum.

These pages help you to explore parts of the collection that you can’t easily see in the displays. Click through to see all the objects.