Harwich Dockyard

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Harwich Dockyard was a Royal Navy dockyard at Harwich in Essex.


Seventeenth-century dockyard crane on Harwich Green

A Royal Navy Dockyard was established at Harwich in 1652. It was ideally positioned for readying the fleet in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the seventeenth century. Thereafter its importance waned; it ceased to operate as a Royal Dockyard in 1713, but was leased to a succession of private operators under whom naval and commercial shipbuilding continued. The Navy maintained a small storage and refitting base there until 1829.[1] One unusual structure surviving from the dockyard is a very rare treadwheel crane of 1667, which was in use until the early twentieth century before being re-sited on Harwich Green in the 1930s.[2] The dockyard bell, dating from 1666, is preserved on the original site, which still operates as a commercial port (known as Navyard since 1964).[3]

A wooden board on the dockyard gate lists some 58 Men-of-war built at the Old Naval Yard there from 1660-1827.[4] During the First World War a flotilla, the Harwich Force, was based at the port. During the Second World War parts of Harwich were again requisitioned for naval use, and ships were based at HMS Badger, a shore establishment on the site of what is now Harwich International Port. Badger was decommissioned in 1946, but the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service maintained a headquarters on the site until 1992.[5]


  1. ^ "Research guide B5: Royal Naval Dockyards". National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Old naval yard crane". English Heritage. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Harwich Quay". Harwich & Dovercourt. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Old Naval Yard Harwich Quay". Geograph. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "The First World War 1914-1918". Harwich & Dovercourt. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 

Coordinates: 51°56′40″N 1°17′24″E / 51.94452°N 1.29010°E / 51.94452; 1.29010