- Woolwich Dockyard
Like its counterpart at
Deptford, it was probably chosen for its position - on the south bank of the tidal River Thamesconveniently close to Henry's palace at Greenwich.
Its facilities ultimately included two large
dry docks, a substantial basin (now used by local anglers), numerous storehouses, a gatehouse and clockhouse, gun bastions, and, in later years, a large metal-working factory used to produce anchorsand other iron items used in shipbuilding. Engineer Samuel Benthamwas an apprentice shipwrightat the dockyard during the 1770s.
As ships grew bigger and the Thames began to silt up, the dockyard eventually closed in
1869, but some of its features still remain, while Woolwich Dockyard railway stationreminds commuters weekly of the history of the area.
Notable ships launched at the dockyards
1512-14— " Henri Grace a Dieu" ("Great Harry"); flagship of Henry VIII.
1751— HMS "Dolphin"; circumnavigated the globe twice.
1756— HMS "Royal George"; her sinking in 1782one of the worst disasters in Royal Navy history, around 800 lives lost.
1805— HMS "Ocean"; second-rate Ship of the line, flagship of Lord Collingwood.
1809— HMS "Macedonian"; frigatecaptured by United Statesduring the War of 1812.
1820— HMS "Beagle"; ship used on naturalist Charles Darwin's famous voyage.
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