Pembroke Dockyard circa 1901
Extracts from an article at battleships-cruisers.co.uk, one of the internet's largest naval history sites. No indication of the author is given.
The origin of Pembroke Dockyard as a Naval station
is interesting, and in some ways curious.
Of course, at every period of history vessels operating on the coast
have resorted to Milford Haven, and probably even in the days of Strongbow, and in the early time of that mighty keep which
still frowns over a branch of the Haven at ancient Pembroke, there must, from
time to time, have been ships of fighting quality in those sheltered waters.
Later on the importance of Milford Haven was impressed upon the Admiralty by
the events of the Great War, more particularly in regard to the defence of
Nothing, however, was done, but before the war broke out
afresh Milford Haven received some facilities for building war ships. The old town of Milford, on the northern side
of the Haven, about seven miles from St. Ann’s Head, was a place of some
commercial importance, and small merchantmen and fishing vessels had been built
there. As a Naval base, the importance of
the place may be said to have originated with Nelson. Nelson appears to have
instituted a regatta at
So much may serve as an introduction to an account of Pembroke Dockyard, which grew from the original establishment at Milford (where) the shore was rocky, the space somewhat restricted, and the work of excavation costly. Mr Stone, the master ship Wright for it was long before superintendent was appointed-advocated that the establishment should be transferred to the position where Pembroke Dock now is……… Pembroke Dockyard thus became a permanent establishment in 1815, and, from small beginnings, increased to such an extent that it has bee capable of undertaking the largest-shipbuilding for the Navy.
It would appear that
when the establishment was removed from
The increase in the work of the yard made necessary a number of additions, and several shops were built and improved, while the appointment of the Captain Superintendent and an increase in the staff made necessary the erection of the official residences. Up to that time the officers of the yard had resided in private houses. The graving dock was the work of the same period, and after 1850 it was enlarged to its present size, and a caisson for closing it was fitted in the place of the iron gates. This dock is in length about 420-ft, with a depth of water of 26-ft. over the sill, but the docking facilities of the yard are not yet adequate to the larger needs of the fleet.
The principal buildings now in the Pembroke Yard belong to the period after 1850, and were mostly erected within the next decade, though building continued at intervals until 1880. Proceeding from the main gate we have on the left the office of the Captain Superintendent, with the surgery and the police station, forming a fine block, and beyond these the offices of the Harbour master, the works department, and others , and still further on is the office of the Chief Constructor of the yard. On the other side of the way are the mould loft, facing the last-named building, and store sheds, etc. We now reach the constructive side of the yard, there being eleven sheds alone the water frontage of the establishment, each with its building slip, eight of the slips being covered in.
The building slips extend along the frontage to within about 100-yards, of the eastern boundary wall, the boat slip and the east camber filling the intermediate space. Close by are the receiving shed and boathouse. The principal storehouses are to the west of the main road, and there is a block of storehouses to the south of it, as well as the fire station. The smithery, now being replaced, is further to the west, and beyond it the foundry with the joinery works and sawmills near. At the present time the yard is not fitted in such a way that many large vessels can be in hand at the same time. As a matter of fact, only two of the slips are available.
Please see http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/pembroke_dockyard.htm for the full transcript.