Goliath Crane 1959

Goliath Crane 1959

© B2 Archive

The Crane

When Bill Brown joined the civil engineering firm, Freeman Fox & partners, in the 1950s he worked on many types of project with Gilbert Roberts, the Senior Partner. One of the early projects was the design of a giant Goliath crane (360-tonne lifting capacity and 76m span) for Babcock & Wilcox for use in the construction of nuclear power stations. It had to be light and easy to erect and dismantle. Bill and Gilbert Roberts created a structure with latticed legs and a bowstring girder. Two were built for the nuclear stations before being used in shipyards in Norway and Cadiz, Spain.

Goliath Crane

Giant crane design for Babcock & Wilcox

Key Facts

Giant crane with a 360 tonne (400t) lifting capacity

Designed to be easy to erect and dismantle


Initially built for UK power station construction

One was sent to a shipyard in Norway

The other was used in a shipyard in Cadiz, Spain

Designers / Engineers

Gilbert Roberts and Dr William (Bill) Brown

Freeman Fox & Partners


76m-wide shipyard crane

Latticed legs and a bowstring girder

Lightweight construction