Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 129,102 pages of information and 204,061 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Portsmouth Dockyard

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1884. Forty Ton Hydraulic Crane, Hydraulic Engineering Co.
HMS Warrior in foreground, HMS Victory in distance, seen from Spinnaker Tower
1899. Deep coffer-dam at Portsmouth dockyard.
February 1947. HMS Vanguard leaving Portsmouth Docks.

Portsmouth Dockyard , Her Majesty's Naval Base, Portsmouth (HMNB Portsmouth) or Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3LJ. There is a lot to see at the historic dockyard and details can be found on the website.

Along with Chatham, Woolwich, Plymouth and Deptford, it has been one of the main dockyards for the Royal Navy throughout its history.

In 1540 the dockyard covered an area of only about 8 acres.[1]

The dockyard (like the other dockyards underwent reforms proposed by Samuel Bentham, Inspector-General of Naval Works. Among his innovations were Portsmouth Block Mills, an early example of truly industrial-scale production.

From here Nelson, embarking on HMS Victory, which is well-preserved, left Britain for the final time before his death at the Battle of Trafalgar.

HMS Warrior was built here.

Mr. Cradock was the Master Shipwright and Chief Engineer in 1866. [2]

1871 '"The body post" of the Blonde, 26, iron frigate, cased with wood, has recently been cast in the foundry of this dockyard. About twenty-five tons of brass were used in the casting, and the present weight is about fifteen tons. It is the largest casting ever made in this dockyard. There is not the least flaw in it, and the manner in which it has been turned out reflects great credit upon the workmen engaged.'[3]

1882 To commemorate the services and death of Edward Newman, late Chief Engineer, a new reward is to be given to young Engineers who obtain distinguished merit in practical engineering.[4]

WWI HMS M33, a WWI monitor built.

WWII Portsmouth and the Naval Base itself were the headquarters and main departure point for the military and naval units destined for Sword Beach on the Normandy coast as a part of Operation Overlord and the D-Day Landings on June 6, 1944.

1909 See plan of dockyard in 1909.

Nearby Attractions

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1896/02/21
  2. The Engineer 1866/01/05
  3. Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette - Saturday 30 December 1871
  4. The Engineer 1882/12/15