Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Woolwich Dockyard

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From 1831 the Royal Navy's steam facility was concentrated at Woolwich, close to the national centre of marine steam engineering, the commercial yards on the Thames.

1838-42 A factory for the erection and repair of steam engines was built at Woolwich[1]

As a direct consequence of concern at French progress, in 1843-4 land was procured for two massive steam engine-powered engineering factories, with related basins, at Portsmouth and at Keyham, Devonport.

1860 By the time that HMS Warrior had been launched from a private yard in 1860, the Portsmouth and Keyhamse yards had impressive capacity for fitting and servicing the growing steam-powered fleet. Chatham was similarly expanded to the north with the new workshops re-using the former iron slip covers dismantled and moved from Woolwich when it closed in 1869.[2]

1870 Advertisement

ROYAL DOCKYARD, WOOLWICH. ENGINEERS' TOOLS. PLANT, SAWMILL, MACH1NERY, AND SURPLUS STORES. MESSRS FULLER, HORSEY, SON & CO Are instructed by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, to SELL BY AUCTION, At the Royal Dockyard, Woolwich, on Monday, June 13, and several following Days (Saturday and Sunday excepted), at One precisely each Day, IN LOTS, ENGINEERS' TOOLS, PLANT, MACHINERY OF THE SAWMILLS, AND SURPLUS STORES, including:-

A very powerful Self-acting Surfacing or Boring Lathe, by Whitworth, will take in. 20ft. Diameter, Two 48in, Centre Ditto, a 36in, Centre Self-acting Screw-cutting Lathe, by Glasgow, a 27in. Centre Self-acting Back-geared Slide Lathe, by Glasgow, a 22in. Centre Ditto, 19in. Ditto, from 8in. to 17in. Centres (Three by Whitworth), an 8½ in. Centre Self-acting Screw-cutting Lathe, Four Single Speed Lathes, Four Foot Lathes, Five Pairs of Headstocks, Four powerful Vertical Drilling or Boring Machines, by Nasmyth & Glasgow. Two Self-acting Boring, Planing, and Surfacing Machines, a Radial Drilling Machine, Six Vertical Drilling Machines, by Whitworth & Collier, Eight Wall-Drilling Machines, Two Self-acting Boring Bars a very powerful Self-acting Armour-plate Planing Machine by Whitworth, Four Self-acting Planing Machines, Two Self-acting Fluting and Planing Machines, Self-acting Slotting Machine, by Hetherington, Screwing Machine, by Whitworth, a 50-cwt Steam Hammer, by Nasmyth, a 30-cwt. Ditto, Two 15-cwt. Ditto, Four powerful Lever Punching and Shearing Machines, by Maudslay, an Eccentric Punching ad Shearing Machine, by Nasmyth, powerful Set of Shears, Ryder's Patent Forging Machine, Circular Saw for cutting Iron, a very powerful Hydraulic Armour Plate Bending Press, with 24in. Ram and pumps by Westwood, Baillie and Co., an Hydraulic Anchor-testing Machine, Set of Plate Bending Rolls, 15 Tons Anvils, 20 Tons Smiths' Tools, 100 Tons Swage Bending and Shaping Blocks. Four Tons Steam Hammer Tools, 10 Tons Boring Heads, Three Tons Lathe Straps and Bolts, 100 Tons Foundry Boxes and Loam Plates, 60 Tons useful Castings, 45 portable Forges, 30 tons portable Vices and Benches, 200 Wrought Iron Vices, Four Foundry Ladles, Founders' Tools, Steel Turning and Boring Tools, Stock and Dies, 120 Plumbago Crucibles, Two Tons Lead Balance Weights Stove Tracks, Brass Founders' Tools, Grindstones, a valuable collection of Wood and Iron Patterns, a Quantity of Crane Machinery.

THE SAWMIILL MACHINERY-The principal Portion of which has been erected by Horn-comprises: Two Thompson's Patent Curvilinear Saw Frames, Three capital Timber Frames, Two Double Deal Frames, Two Rack Saw Benches, by Parssons, One Self-acting Circular Saw Bench, Three Circular Saw Benches, a capital Planing, Moulding, and Tonguing Machine, Wood Planing Machine, Two Ditto, by Furness, Wood Morticing Machine, Fret Saw, Two Muir's Grindstones, 350 Frame Saws, 50 Circular Saws Two Multitubular Steam Boilers, 1,000 Feat of Shafting, with Riggers. 6,000 Feet Leather Bands, &c. AN ASSORTMENT OF SURPLUS STORES, including 35 Tons Bar and Angle Iron, 13 Tons Cast Shear and Spring Steel, 600 new Brass Boiler Tubes, 1,100) new Wrought Iron Ditto, 200 Dozens Boiler Ferrules, 400 Tube Brushes, 400 Brass Lubricators Five new Downton's Gun Metal Ships' Pumps, 50 new Shipwrights' Cramps, 60 Dozens Augers, 34 Dozens Auger Pods, a Quantity of Caulking Tools Steel Chisels, Punches, Spanners, 50 Ratchet Braces, 20 Steam Pressure Gauges, 100 Boilermaker's Cramps, a Quantity of Black Ironmongery and Boat's Gear, Copper Cowls, 18 Pairs Beam Scales with Brass Weights, Six Weighing Machines, 30 Binnacle Stands, 500 Feet of Copper Rivetted Leather Hose, Two Set Siebe's Patent Diving Apparatus with Pumps, 31 Joiners' Benches, 100 Joiners' Cramps, 300 Wood, Paddle Floats, Quantity of Gear for Steam Cranes, and Extra Gear for Sawmill Machinery, Pair Timber Shear Legs, 58 Feet high, Set of Triangles for breaking Iron, Portable Wrought Iron Store, 12 Boats, 21 Single and Double Purchase Crabs, 13 Bottle and Rack Jacks, 20 Wrought Iron Tanks, 500 Coal Sacks, 200 portable Gas Burners, Barrows, Ladders, and numerous other Effects. May be viewed Six Working Days previous to the Sale, by Catalogue only, which may be had at ls each of Messrs FULLER, HORSEY, SON & Co., 11, Billiter Square, London, E.C.[3]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Economy of Kent, 1640-1914, by Alan Armstrong
  2. Thematic Survey of English Naval Dockyards; summary report; by Jeremy Lake and James Douet, English Heritage, Draft 1998
  3. Newcastle Courant - Friday 10th June 1870