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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

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust welcomes the news that museums and visitor attractions are able to reopen to visitors from 4 July.

We are actively planning to welcome visitors back to the Dockyard as soon as we are safely able to do so but this will be some time after 4 July.

We will make a further announcement to confirm the exact date as soon as we can.

In the meantime, much of Dockyard life has never stopped. Master Ropemakers has started operating again and we are taking forward bookings for filming, group travel and hospitality, including weddings. Call the Midwife Official Location Tours will resume shortly.

We would like to thank all our visitors for their understanding during this challenging period.

Last updated: 25 June 2020