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No.1 Dock and Basin, Devonport, site of
Royal Dockyard South Yard, Devonport, Plymouth, Devon
associated engineer
Edmund Dummer
date  1691 - 1693, rebuilt 1830s
era  Stuart  |  category  Docks/Slipway  |  reference  SX447545
ICE reference number  HEW 1117
No. 1 Dock is located on the western side of Devonport’s South Yard. The present facilities were constructed during the 1830s on the site of the yard’s first dry dock, which was built between 1691 and 1693.
Plymouth was favoured over Saltash as a site for the dockyard and a contract for the original works, which included the dry dock and wet basin, plus residences, stores and workshops, was let to Robert Walters of Portsmouth on 30th December 1690. Construction of the dock began in 1691.
The masonry dock was designed by Edmund Dummer, a naval officer and Surveyor for the Royal Navy. The structure consisted of an outer basin 78m by 61m, and an inner graving dock 51.8m long by 12.3m wide and 5.8m deep.
Lock gates led from the Hamoaze (the tidal inlet between the River Tamar and Plymouth Sound) to the wet basin, and from there into the dry dock. The steps and altars of the dock were shaped to fit ship contours. The scheme, based on similar works at Toulon in France, was important in the development of dock facilities at Devonport.
According to a description of 1789, the dry dock was “hewn out of a mine of slate and lined with Portland stone, after the mould of a first-rate man-of-war” — a man-of-war was a sail-powered warship equipped with heavy guns.
The No. 1 Dock and Basin complex is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Main contractor (1691): Robert Walters
Research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH South

No.1 Dock and Basin, Devonport, site of