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 134,652 pages of information and 213,749 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Sheerness Dockyard

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H. M. Dockyard.

1665 Originally built for storing and refitting ships.

For much of its history Sheerness served as a support yard for Chatham Dockyard

1720. Shipbuilding began, mostly smaller ships.

The entire dockyard was rebuilt to a single design by John Rennie Junior between 1815-26.

1850s Sheerness Dockyard was rebuilt primarily for the repair and maintenance of sailing ships but had to adapt to the demands of steam technology. Because Chatham Dockyard was not expanded and adapted for steam until the 1860s, Sheerness had to provide interim facilities for repair and maintenance of steam-powered ships based in the Nore, especially after the outbreak of the Crimean War.

In 1854, a new Steam Factory was built 'in haste' at Sheerness by Godfrey Greene, with the second mast house being converted into an engineering foundry and fitting shop. The No.1 and No.3 Docks were both lengthened to accommodate the larger ships now coming in for repair.

By 1868 just under 500 men and boys were employed in the factory, sited in the south part of the Dockyard; it was served by its own entrance (later called the South Gate) in the perimeter wall.

1960 The Dockyard was closed and the site taken over as a commercial port.


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