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The Tudor dockyard site lacked the space to build dry docks, leading the Navy Board to build a new yard downstream. By 1618 the new yard, built on the site of the present Historic Dockyard was operational with new storehouses, slips and Ropery. By 1625 a dry dock had been built and houses for senior dockyard officers erected.

The new yard was geographically well placed to support the Royal Navy through a series of trade wars with the Dutch that were fought largely at sea in the English Channel and North Sea. As a result the dockyard became the Royal Navy’s principal fleet base a role it would retain until the early years of the 18th century. Only largely archaeological evidence now remains of the early Stuart dockyard located around the Commissioner’s House and the garden.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Notice to Visitors

As with the rest of the world, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust is closely monitoring the evolving situation around the global pandemic of COVID-19.

It is with sadness that following UK Government guidelines we have closed our visitor attraction to the public until further notice.

This closure extends to Call the Midwife Official Location Tours and The Festival of Steam and Transport (12 – 13 April).

Whilst outside of our control, we apologise for any inconvenience caused during this difficult time and would like to thank all our visitors for their understanding during this challenging period.