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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #1
El_Greco
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Chatham Dockyard, England

Chatham was established as a royal dockyard by Elizabeth I in 1567. She herself visited the yard in 1573. By the late 17th century it was the largest refitting dockyard, important during the Dutch wars. It was, however superseded first by Portsmouth, then Plymouth, when the main naval enemy became France, and the Western approaches the chief theatre of operations. In addition, the Medway had begun to silt up, making navigation more difficult. Chatham became a building yard rather than a refitting base. In 1622, the dockyard moved from its original location to its present site. Among many other vessels built in this Dockyard and which still exist are HMS Victory HMS Unicorn. Much of the work was done by convict labour and the yard built on average, two new ships each year. When the yards at Deptford and Woolwich closed in 1869, Chatham again became relatively important and remained so until 1983 when it closed.

1. Main gatehouse 1722, designed by the master shipwright in the style of Vanbrugh.



2. Masthouses and mould loft 1753-8. Masthouses were used to make and store masts. Here there are 7 interlinking masthouses. Above them is the mould loft where the lines of HMS Victory were laid down. The lines of each frame of a ship would be taken from the plan and scribed full size, into the floor by shipwrights. From this patterns or moulds would be built using softwoods, and from these the actual frames would be built and shaped.



3. Inside slips.



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6. HMS Gannet, a Royal Navy Doterel-class screw sloop launched on 31 August 1878. She became a training ship in the Thames in 1903, and was then lent as a training ship for boys in the Hamble from 1913. She was preserved in 1987 and forms part of the Core Collection of the UK's National Historic Fleet. The primary purpose of ships of the Gannet's class was to maintain British naval dominance through trade protection, anti-slavery, and long term surveying. From the time of launching until 1883, the Gannet was assigned to the Pacific Ocean under Admiral De Horsey and spent much time shadowing the events of the War of the Pacific. In 1883 the ship returned to Sheerness and underwent a two year refit. After the refit was complete, the Gannet was assigned to the Mediterranean as an anti-slaver. On 11 September 1888, she was ordered to relieve HMS Dolphin at the besieged port of Suakin, Sudan where she engaged anti-Anglo-Egyptian forces led by Osman Digna for nearly a month. After the battle, the Gannet was assigned to perform surveying work throughout the Mediterranean, and then hydrographic work in the Red Sea until she returned to Sheerness and was decommissioned on 16 March 1895.



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13. HMS Ocelot (S17) was an Oberon-class diesel-electric submarine laid down by HM Dockyard at Chatham in Kent on 17 November 1960, launched on 5 May 1962 and commissioned on 31 January 1964. She joined the 3rd Flotilla based at HMNB Clyde, in Faslane. HMS Ocelot was the last submarine built for the Royal Navy at Chatham Dockyard, although three more 'O' class submarines—Ojibwa, Onondaga and Okanagan—were built for the Royal Canadian Navy. HMS Ocelot paid off in August 1991 as the conventional submarine fleet of the RN began to decline, making way for the nuclear fleet. She was sold in 1992 and preserved as a fully tourable museum in Chatham Historic Dockyard.



14. HMS Cavalier (D73) is a retired C-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. After commissioning she joined the 6th Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Home Fleet, and took part in a number of operations off Norway. Most notably in February 1945 she was despatched with HMS Myngs and HMS Scorpion to reinforce a convoy from the Kola Inlet in Russia, which had suffered attacks from enemy aircraft and U-boats, and had subsequently been scattered by a violent storm. She and the other escorts reformed the convoy, and returned to Britain with the loss of only three of the thirty-four ships. This action earned Cavalier a battle honour. Later in 1945 Cavalier was dispatched to the Far East, where she provided naval gunfire support during the Battle of Surabaya. In February 1946 she went to Bombay to help quell the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny. After some time in the British Pacific Fleet she was paid off in May 1946 and was placed in reserve at Portsmouth. Cavalier was decommissioned in 1972, the last surviving destroyer of the Royal Navy to have served in World War II.



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19. The Mess.



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24. The Wardroom. This is where the officers would have hanged out.



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26. Memorial in the Yard.



27. Clocktower building 1723. The oldest surviving naval storehouse in any Royal Dockyard. The ground floor was a 'present use store' and the upper floor was a mould loft. It was rebuilt in 1802 - the timber cladding was replaced by brick.



28. Smithery 1808. It was designed by Edward Holl, for production of Anchors and Chain. Anchors could weigh 72 cwt (3657 kg), and were forged by hand. Anchorsmiths were give an allowance of 8 pintsof strong beer a day, because of the difficult working conditions.



29. Officers' Terrace 1722-3. Twelve houses built for senior officers in the Dockyard. The ground floor were built as offices, the first floor contained reception rooms with bedrooms above. Each has a 18C walled garden, which again are now very rare. They are now privately owned.



30. Cashiers' Office (on the right) 18C. John Dickens, father of Charles Dickens worked here from 1817-1822. It is still used as offices.



31. Admiral's Offices 1808. Designed by Edward Holl as offices for the master shipwright. The roofline was low so it would not obstruct the view from the officers' terrace. Later it became Port Admiral's office and was extended. The northern extension became the dockyard's communication centre.



32. Commissioner's House 1704. This is the oldest surviving naval building in England. It was built for the Resident Commissioner, his family and servants. The previous building was built in 1640 for Phineas Pett. In 1703, Captain George St Lo took up the post and petitioned the Admiralty for a more suitable residence. Internally the principal feature is the main staircase with its painted wooden ceiling attributed to Thomas Highmore, to sketches by Sir James Thornhill.



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35. The Ropery 1728 extended 1812.



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39. Bonus, a soviet submarine in the Medway.



40.

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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:19 PM   #2
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I should get into Portsmouth Dockyard one of these days, its massive. Unfortunately you cant get into most of it, let alone take photos. But there are tonnes of old warehouses, factories, rows of georgian terraces (officer accomadation I believe), St Ann's Church (where I was christened), some brutalist stuff for the postwar fans out there, 21st c stuff, all sorts.


St Ann's.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:57 PM   #3
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How much of Portsmouth Dockyard is open to the public?
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Old May 17th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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Very little, although you can see most of the old stuff through various railings and gaps between buildings in the Historic Dockyard which is the bit open to the public. Its best to go on an open day where more is accessible, about 4-5 years ago they even had the VT now Bae shipbuilding hall open to the public and you got to see modern shipbuilding in action as they built HMS Clyde.

Fascinating pictures anyway. Looks like a good day out.

Its amazing how similar it all looks to Portsmouth. For instance the terrace of senior rates housing in Portsmouth has the same unusual porches as those pictured in 29, yet is far more regency in style with white stucco exterior as opposed to the dark brick.

And the Clocktower building in 27 has almost identical proportions to the Great storehouse in Portsmouth but is clearly much older.

I am very tempted to go have a look around myself this summer.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 11:16 PM   #5
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When do Open Days take place? Id like to pay it a visit.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 11:36 PM   #6
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http://www.navydaysuk.co.uk/

This isn't going to be a massive affair, in all honesty most of the base will still be off limits. The international festivals of the sea in 98, 01 and 05 were much much bigger with the whole base pretty much accessible for a nose about and dozens of ships British and foreign open to the public. Were well overdue another one.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 07:32 PM   #7
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Very nice, interesting photo presentation of this town
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Old May 19th, 2010, 12:15 AM   #8
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Thanks all.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #9
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interesting photos.
it's a sort of historical tour.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
How much of Portsmouth Dockyard is open to the public?
Huh?
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Old May 20th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #11
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Some superb photos EG and good to see my namesake http://www.sovietsub.co.uk/ even if it's looking a little forlorn.

There was talk of it going to the IWM north a while back but they said it would detract from the architecture.

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Old May 21st, 2010, 08:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tg7 View Post
Huh?
Nice.
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