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3 Slip – the big space

The magnificent 3 Slip is among the most remarkable architectural achievements now surviving at the Historic Dockyard.



Built in 1838, the immense covered slip was, when built, the largest wide span timber structure in Europe.

No.3 Slip stands at the cusp of technological change, its amazing cantilever roof was built to the design of shipwright Sir Robert Seppings. It features a gracefully curved ‘apse’ at its landward end, designed to accommodate a ship’s bow. Although buildings of this kind were constructed around the world, 3 Slip is now a rare survival.

In 1904 a high mezzanine floor was installed to provide storage for ships’ boats. Climb the stairs (or take the lift) to this level to admire the amazing roof at close range.

Today 3 Slip is home to a vast array of epic objects and vehicles from the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive and Imperial War Museum collections.

Take time to explore this vast assemblage of vessels. Vehicles, weaponry and heavy machinery.


We have worked with AccessAble to create individual access guides to our galleries and spaces. These guides give you the detailed information you need to work out if a space is going to be accessible to you.

No.3 Slip Access Guide

Parking, Entrance, Ticket Office & Shop Guide

Changing Places & Accessible Toilets Guide

Getting Around Guide