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Its facilities ultimately included two large dry docks, a substantial basin (now used by local anglers), masting sheers, numerous storehouses, a gatehouse and clockhouse, gun bastions, and, in later years, a large metal-working factory used to produce anchors and other iron items used in shipbuilding. Engineer Samuel Bentham was an apprentice shipwright at the dockyard during the 1770s.
As ships grew bigger and the Thames began to silt up, the dockyard eventually closed in 1869. In 1926 the western part of the site was sold to the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society; the Co-Op still occupies a number of buildings on the site. Other surviving buildings on Woolwich Church Street include the old Steam Factory with its prominent chimney (1838-44). Further to the east, the former office and house of the Dockyard Admiral-Superintendent now serves as the Clockhouse Community Centre; it dates from 1778-1784. Nearby, a late 18th-century police office stands alongside the former dockyard gates. Closer to the river, a couple of closed off docks have been preserved as a reminder of the area's historic significance.
Notable ships launched at the dockyard
- 1512–14— Henri Grâce à Dieu (Great Harry); flagship of Henry VIII.
- 1608— Anne Royal - a rebuilding
- 1610— Prince Royal
- 1613— Defiance - a rebuilding
- 1615— Merhonour - a rebuilding
- 1616— Convertine - originally begun as the private warship Destiny for Sir Walter Raleigh
- 1617— Rainbow - a rebuilding
- 1631— Vanguard - a rebuilding
- 1637— Sovereign of the Seas; first-rate ship of the line, ordered by Charles I
- 1670— Saint Andrew; first-rate ship of the line
- 1751— Dolphin; circumnavigated the globe twice.
- 1756— HMS Royal George; first-rate ship of the line; her sinking in 1782 was one of the worst disasters in Royal Navy history - around 800 lives were lost.
- 1805— HMS Ocean; second-rate ship of the line, flagship of Lord Collingwood.
- 1809— HMS Macedonian; frigate captured by USS United States during the War of 1812.
- 1818— HMS Talavera; third-rate ship of the line.
- 1820— HMS Beagle; ship used on naturalist Charles Darwin's famous voyage.