THE last surviving Severn ferry has successfully qualified for listing on the National Register of Historic Vessels, making it officially of UK national interest.

The Severn Princess, which currently sits on dry land in Chepstow, now joins a prestigious list of more than 1,000 historic vessels, including the Cutty Sark and SS Great Britain.

To be considered for listing, the vessel had to be at least 50 years old, have demonstrable and significant UK associations, be based in the UK, be more than 33ft in length and the hull must be substantially intact.

South Wales Argus: Memorabilia from the time of the ferriesMemorabilia from the time of the ferries

The NRHV database, which can be viewed online, includes detailed information about each vessel, such as designer, builder, dimensions, construction, propulsion, service history, current location and ownership, as well as images of the registered vessels.

The Severn Princess, and her counterparts, the Severn King and Queen, used to carry vehicles and passengers across the River Severn between Aust and Beachley.

The service was used by many, saving them a 60-mile round trip via Gloucester.

South Wales Argus: The Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Brigadier Robert Aitken views a model of the ferryThe Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Brigadier Robert Aitken views a model of the ferry

Having only been launched in 1959, the Princess was sold to a company in Ireland in 1966, when the Severn Bridge opened and the ferries were no longer required.

Many years later, MV Princess was found abandoned and in a dreadful state but subsequently rescued and returned to Chepstow by enthusiastic volunteers in 1999.

When the Severn Bridge had opened, the Severn Queen was immediately cut up for scrap and the Severn King followed the same fate in 1970, following irreparable damage sustained during her work on the Sharpness River Severn railway bridge.

South Wales Argus: The Severn Princess is currently on dry land at Chepstow.The Severn Princess is currently on dry land at Chepstow.

The volunteers of the Severn Princess Preservation Trust (now a registered charity 1179131), continue to work hard to preserve her as an important part of the history of transport in the area and as the last remaining vessel of the Severn ferries, which had been operating since the 1930s.

The trust was recently visited by his Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent, Brigadier Robert Aitken and Monmouthshire County Councillor Paul Pavia.

A spokesman for the trustees said: "We are absolutely delighted that the Princess has made it to the National Register of Historic Vessels and especially to be listed alongside such prestigious vessels.

"Of course, we were thrilled to receive a visit by Brigadier Aitken to learn more about the Princess and the work that we’ve been doing.”