Main Gate, 1722
Scheduled Ancient Monument
This imposing building was the main entrance to the Dockyard. Completed in 1722 in ‘Vanbrugh style’ its first coat of arms of George I now sits on the inside face of the building. It was replaced on the outside in 1811 with the arms of George III.
The gate provided homes for two junior officials, the Yard Porter and Boatswain. The Yard Porter watched over all those who would enter and exit the site.
Workers would have been mustered by the tolling of the muster bell, which is just to the right of the gate. During the Napoleonic Wars, when fears of spies were at their height, Quartermen, or gang leaders, from each trade were required to personally identify each of their men entering the yard. A practice repeated during the world wars of the 20th century.