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 148,535 pages of information and 233,960 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Keyham Dockyard

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H. M. Steam Factory and Dockyard; maker of marine boilers; [1] also site of the Royal Naval Engineering College

1844 Construction began. Messrs. Baker and Sons were the contractors. James Nasmyth supplied an early version of his steam hammer pile-driver.

The Keyham steam factory was planned carefully over about five years. The plans were forwarded to a nationally renowned architect, Sir Charles Barry, for him to prepare a suitable architectural clothing. His son noted wryly that is was 'the only example of his treatment of a class of buildings which it has been common to despair of architecturally, and to surrender to the domains of plain and even ugly utilitarianism'. Keyham was omitted from Barry's obituary article in the RIBA Journal. This building was clearly considered a major work, and one on a different scale to the already over-stretched steam factories at Woolwich and Portsmouth.[2]

1853 Dockyard opened, comprising three docks and two basins

1895 A scheme of extension was approved

1896 Sir John Jackson, the contractor, had began work on the extension, providing for three graving docks

1906 Work on the extension was completed

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain by George Watkins. Vol 10
  2. Thematic Survey of English Naval Dockyards; summary report; by Jeremy Lake and James Douet, English Heritage, Draft 1998