Plymouth Dock : a survey of the development of the Royal Dockyard in Hamoaze during the sailing ship era.
The work of the Royal Dockyards has
been of prime importance in the rise of this country to the
position of a great naval power. There has as yet, however,
been relatively little attention given to the historical development
of the Royal Dockyards, or to the factors actuating this
development. The aim of this thesis is to examine in some
detail the particular case of Plymouth, which throws some light
on the general role of the Royal Dockyards in our naval history.
While the study is confined to that
of a single dockyard ) the field has been further narrowed by the
termination of the period under review at the mid19th century,
a date at which steam power and steel plates were rapidly
rep1actn sails and wooden hull8. The initial problem can thus
be examined to its conclusion within the limits set.
- The establishment and development of
the Dockyard are the main themes of this study, and in this
connection the suitability of the site both from the local and
the national point of view, as well as in relation to wider
strategic considerations, makes the first claim for examination.
The essential and allied subjects of Naval Victualling, and of
Hydrographic improvements, as well as that of the general
development of the town of Plymouth Dock (Devonport), and the
defence of both the town and dockyard are similarly examined.
The enera1 physical features of the
Plymouth district are summarised to provide a background for the
whole study. For the same reason, and as an aid to the enera1
reader, the main features of the Naval Administration at the
close of the 17th century (when the Plymouth Yard was first
established) are similarly treated. A chronological sequence
is adopted throughout in order to trace the evolutionary
processes by which the form, functioning, and machinery of the
naval base of Plymouth were finally determined.