Chatham Dockyard

ChathamChatham Royal DockyardHM Dockyard, ChathamThe Historic Dockyard ChathamHM Dockyard ChathamChatham Naval DockyardHMNB ChathamChatham DockyardsHM DockyardThe Historic Dockyard in Chatham
Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent.wikipedia
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Chatham, Kent

ChathamChatham, EnglandChatham, Medway
Established in Chatham in the mid-16th century, the dockyard subsequently expanded into neighbouring Gillingham (at its most extensive, in the early 20th century, two-thirds of the dockyard lay in Gillingham, one-third in Chatham).
The town developed around Chatham Dockyard and several Army barracks, together with 19th-century forts which provided a defensive shield for the dockyard.

Kent

Kent, EnglandCounty of KentCounty Kent
Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent.
England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history; the Cinque Ports in the 12th–14th centuries and Chatham Dockyard in the 16th–20th centuries were of particular importance.

Chatham Historic Dockyard

Chatham DockyardChathamChatham Historic Dockyard Railway
Chatham dockyard closed in 1984, and 84 acre of the Georgian dockyard is now managed as the Chatham Historic Dockyard visitor attraction by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.
Chatham Dockyard covered 400 acres (1.6 km²) and was one of the Royal Navy's main facilities for several hundred years until it was closed in 1984.

Royal Navy Dockyard

Royal DockyardRoyal DockyardsHM Dockyard
Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent. Careening took place on the river, according to a Privy Council instruction of 1550; for more specialised repairs and maintenance, however, ships would have had to travel to one of the purpose-built royal dockyards (the nearest being those on the Thames: Deptford and Woolwich).
By the mid-seventeenth century, Chatham (established 1567) had overtaken them to become the largest of the yards.

Gillingham, Kent

GillinghamGillingham, MedwayGillingham Pier
Established in Chatham in the mid-16th century, the dockyard subsequently expanded into neighbouring Gillingham (at its most extensive, in the early 20th century, two-thirds of the dockyard lay in Gillingham, one-third in Chatham).
Indeed, a large part of Chatham Dockyard lay within Gillingham: the dockyard started in Gillingham and, until the day it was closed in 1984, two-thirds of the then modern-day dockyard lay within the boundaries of Gillingham.

Royal Navy

RNBritish NavyBritish Royal Navy
For 414 years Chatham Royal Dockyard provided over 500 ships for the Royal Navy, and was at the forefront of shipbuilding, industrial and architectural technology.
Disaster followed as the Dutch fleet mounted the Raid on the Medway, breaking into Chatham Dockyard and capturing or burning many of the Navy's largest ships at their moorings.

Raid on the Medway

raidDutch fleet broke another chainhumiliating attack
In 1665, the Navy Board approved Sheerness as a site for a new dockyard, and building work began; but in 1667 the still-incomplete Sheerness Dockyard was captured by the Dutch Navy and used as the base for a humiliating attack on the English fleet at anchor in the Medway itself.
The Raid on the Medway, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in June 1667, was a successful attack conducted by the Dutch navy on English battleships laid up in the fleet anchorages off Chatham Dockyard and Gillingham in the county of Kent.

Sheerness Dockyard

SheernessSheerness Royal DockyardGun Wharf, Sheerness
In 1665, the Navy Board approved Sheerness as a site for a new dockyard, and building work began; but in 1667 the still-incomplete Sheerness Dockyard was captured by the Dutch Navy and used as the base for a humiliating attack on the English fleet at anchor in the Medway itself.
Chatham Dockyard had its disadvantages, however.

Sheerness

Sheerness DockyardSheerness Urban DistrictSheerness, England
The escalating Anglo-Dutch wars forced their hand, however: several temporary buildings were hastily erected in Sheerness, at the mouth of the Medway, to enable ships to re-arm, re-victual and (if necessary) be repaired as quickly as possible.
The first structure in what is now Sheerness was a fort built by order of Henry VIII to prevent enemy ships from entering the River Medway and attacking the naval dockyard at Chatham.

Victualling Commissioners

Victualling BoardVictuallingVictualling Commissioner
(At around the same time a victualling store was also established, in nearby Rochester, to provide the ships and their crews with food.) The storehouse would have furnished ships with such necessary consumables as rope, pulleys, sailcloth and timber.
The other Naval Dockyards in the Thames area (Chatham, Sheerness and Woolwich) were all dependent on Deptford for victualling.

Woolwich Dockyard

WoolwichDockyardCommissioner of the Navy at Woolwich Dockyard
Careening took place on the river, according to a Privy Council instruction of 1550; for more specialised repairs and maintenance, however, ships would have had to travel to one of the purpose-built royal dockyards (the nearest being those on the Thames: Deptford and Woolwich).
In 1800 Samuel Bentham, the Inspector-General of Naval Works (who had himself served as an apprentice shipwright at Woolwich in the 1770s) proposed replacing Woolwich, Deptford, Chatham and Sheerness dockyards with a single new facility on the Isle of Grain; but this, (along with other radical proposals) was not pursued.

Deptford Dockyard

DeptfordRoyal DockyardDeptford Royal Dockyard
Careening took place on the river, according to a Privy Council instruction of 1550; for more specialised repairs and maintenance, however, ships would have had to travel to one of the purpose-built royal dockyards (the nearest being those on the Thames: Deptford and Woolwich). The Treasurer of the Navy's accounts of the King's Exchequer for the year 1544 identifies Deptford Dockyard as the dockyard that carried out all the major repairs to the King's Ships that year.
The growth of other shipyards, particularly Chatham Dockyard on the River Medway, eventually threatened Deptford's supremacy, and by the early seventeenth century the possibility of closing and selling Deptford yard was being discussed.

Full-rigged pinnace

pinnacepinnacesFull rigged pinnace
The first ship to be built at the dockyard, a pinnace named HMS Sunne, was launched in 1586.
The English pinnace Sunne was the first vessel reported built at the Chatham Dockyard, in 1586.

Samuel Bentham

Sir Samuel BenthamSamuel
Following the appointment of Robert Seppings as Master Shipwright in 1804, iron began to be introduced into the structure of ships being built at Chatham; the following year work began on a new, much larger smithery, commissioned by Samuel Bentham, designed by Edward Holl and fitted out by John Rennie.
At the age of 14, Bentham was apprenticed to a shipwright at Woolwich Dockyard, serving there and at Chatham Dockyard, before completing his 7-year training at the Naval Academy in Portsmouth.

HMS Africa (1905)

HMS ''AfricaAfrica
(The older slipways, by contrast, were proving much too small and they were mostly filled in around this time, their covered areas being put to alternative uses.) The first battleship to be built on the new No 8 Slip was HMS Africa, launched in 1905; however it also proved to be the last, as it was announced (controversially) that Chatham Dockyard would be unable to accommodate Dreadnoughts Proposals were made for a fourth Basin of 57 acre, together with additional large docks of up to 800 ft, to cover the remaining land on St Mary's Island; but these were soon superseded by plans to build an entirely new dockyard at Rosyth.
The ship was built by Chatham Dockyard between 1904 and 1906.

HMS Phoenix (1832)

HMS ''PhoenixPhoenixHMS Phoenix
The first steam-powered ship to be laid down at Chatham was HMS Phoenix, one of four paddle steamers built concurrently across the royal dockyards in the early 1830s, each designed by a different leading shipwright.
The vessel was designed by Robert Seppings, and built in a drydock at Chatham Dockyard.

HMNB Portsmouth

Portsmouth DockyardPortsmouthHM Dockyard, Portsmouth
From the very start of the 18th century, however, Chatham began to be superseded in both size and importance, first by Portsmouth, then Plymouth, when the main naval enemy became France, and the Western approaches the chief theatre of operations.
Along with Woolwich, Deptford, Chatham and Plymouth, Portsmouth has been one of the main Royal Navy Dockyards or Bases throughout its history.

Navy Board

Council of the MarineNavy OfficeNaval administrator
At around the same time a large house was leased (the Hill House) for administrative purposes (including meetings of the Council of Marine Causes); among other things it contained the Pay Office, and remained in Naval use for the next 150 years.
The Navy Board overall responsibilities were the construction and maintenance of ships through the Royal Dockyards of Deptford, Woolwich, Portsmouth and Chatham; the operations of the dockyards and other naval establishments.

Brompton, Kent

BromptonNew BromptonBrompton Barracks
At the same time, the nearby village of Brompton began to be developed to provide housing for the dockyard's growing workforce.
Today, Brompton is a small residential village between Chatham Dockyard and Gillingham.

Commander-in-Chief, The Nore

Nore CommandNore DivisionThe Nore
In 1897 a naval barracks was built on the site of the prison to provide crew accommodation for ships anchored in The Nore; for the next sixty years it served as the headquarters of Nore Command, whose Commander-in-Chief was accommodated in the adjacent Admiralty House.
In 1907 the Commander-in-Chief moved to a new Admiralty House alongside the naval barracks (HMS Pembroke) in Chatham, the Sheerness house being given over to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet.

Edward Holl

Following the appointment of Robert Seppings as Master Shipwright in 1804, iron began to be introduced into the structure of ships being built at Chatham; the following year work began on a new, much larger smithery, commissioned by Samuel Bentham, designed by Edward Holl and fitted out by John Rennie.
In 1806 in Chatham Dockyard, Holl designed the No.

Peter Pett

PeterSir Peter Pett
Peter Pett, of the family of shipwrights whose history is closely connected to the Chatham dockyard, became commissioner in 1649.
Pett became Commissioner of Chatham Dockyard in 1648.

St Mary's Island, Medway

St Mary's IslandSt. Mary's Island
St Mary's Island, a 150 acre, largely undeveloped area to the north of the three basins, was transformed into a residential community for some 1,500 homes.
Once part of the Royal Dockyard, Chatham, the area had consisted of a mixture of sports fields and warehousing during the later years of the Royal Navy's time in occupation.

Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham

HMS ''PembrokeChathamHMS Pembroke
In 1897 a naval barracks was built on the site of the prison to provide crew accommodation for ships anchored in The Nore; for the next sixty years it served as the headquarters of Nore Command, whose Commander-in-Chief was accommodated in the adjacent Admiralty House.
At first, they were almost invariably housed in hulks; it was only towards the end of the century that purpose-built barracks began to be constructed at each of the three principal Royal Navy Dockyards: Chatham, Devonport and Portsmouth.

Mr Selfridge

Mr. SelfridgeCalum CallaghanMister Selfridge
Productions that have chosen to film at Chatham Dockyard include: Les Misérables, Call the Midwife, Mr Selfridge, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Oliver Twist, The World Is Not Enough and Grantchester.
The exterior of the store was recreated in The Historic Dockyard Chatham, in Kent.