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Former Sawmill Building Numbers 105-107

A Grade II Listed Building in Sheerness, Kent

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Latitude: 51.444 / 51°26'38"N

Longitude: 0.7493 / 0°44'57"E

OS Eastings: 591157

OS Northings: 175249

OS Grid: TQ911752

Mapcode National: GBR RS1.J7T

Mapcode Global: VHKJ0.YY0Y

Plus Code: 9F32CPVX+HP

Entry Name: Former Sawmill Building Numbers 105-107

Listing Date: 13 August 1999

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1244510

English Heritage Legacy ID: 476730

Location: Sheerness, Swale, Kent, ME12

County: Kent

District: Swale

Electoral Ward/Division: Sheerness

Parish: Sheerness

Built-Up Area: Sheerness

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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TQ 9175 SW MAIN ROAD (North side),
Sheerness Dockyard
Former Sawmill, Building
Numbers 105-107


Steam-powered sawmill, fire-engine house and store, now workshops and-offices. 1856-58, by Col G T Greene, for the Admiralty Works Department, ironwork by Fox, Henderson; boiler house raised c1860. Yellow stock brick with slate roof and iron frame. PLAN: square plan saw mill with parallel NW engine and SW boiler house with attached chimney, and E junk store with fire engine houses both ends. 2 storeys, attic and basement; 8-bay sawmill, 4x10-bay junk store, 2x3-bay boiler house and 1x3-bay engine house. EXTERIOR: main sawmill block is parapeted with wide clasping buttresses and 2 shallow gables each end, cobbled ramps lead up to full-width cast-iron doorways with later infill or doors, with
-upper small-paned iron tilting casements, 6 first-floor segmental-arched casements in matching recesses, and large tripartite attic lunettes in matching recesses. Beam engine house set back with round-arched ground-floor openings to the end and sides, and a heavy granite bearing pad set in the lower side wall, segmental-arched upper casements, and a later iron water tank on top. Boiler house immediately to the SW one bay wider, with a round-arched cart doorway with double doors in the W end, thin plat band and cornice, and 2 late C19 ground-floor windows. Battered square chimney at the NW end. Fire engine houses project either end of the junk store beyond the sawmill, with matching pedimented ends, with 5-bay cast-iron ground-floor doorways and windows as the sawmill, all but one bay in the Wend bricked up, with a segmental-arched window to the side, and similar casement windows to the first floor; a blocked oculus in the pediment. The returns either end on the inner side have a round-arched doorway with overlight and fanlight, leading to the stairs. SE elevation has an arcade of 9 wide, recessed round-arched ground-floor windows, formerly open, and doorways at the E end and 3 bays in, single casement window at the Wend, and segmental-arched first-floor casements. INTERIOR: the sawmill divided into 7 aisles by an internal iron frame of large round tapering columns with T -section lateral and transverse beams with parabolic bottom flanges, attached with at the columns with shrink rings, and T -section fish-belly joist which rest on the upper surface. Basement not inspected. Upper floor contains slender iron posts to wide composite wrought-iron trusses with diagonal braces and cast-iron struts, clearly an advanced Greene design; the north-west room has multiple bracing to its hipped roof, in the manner established for example by the Rennie's at the Royal William Yard in Plymouth in the 1830s. Fire-engine houses have cantilevered stone dogleg stairs with iron stick balusters at either end, the junk store with an internal iron frame, divided on the first floor by mid (20 partitions. Engine and boiler house not inspected, boiler house noted as having c1860 rivet ted lateral beams with transverse beams and joists as in the saw mill. HISTORY: a large steam-powered saw mill, replacing the hand saw pits in Building 23 (qv), powered by a pair of rotative beam engines. The design and structural system is almost identical with that of the contemporary South Saw Mill, Devonport, and contrasts with the more innovatory system used by Greene for the nearby Boat Store (qv), built 2 years later. This reflects the greater stresses imposed by sawing, and is evidence of the understanding of metal framing at the time of the milestone Boat Store. The basement housed the foundations for the machines most notably the curvilinear saw frames which had to be deeply set in order to withstand severe vibration, and the shafting and belt drives. Included for historic interest, and as part of a group with Building 23, the former sawyers' shop, and the Boat Store (qqv), within a unique planned early (19 dockyard. (Sources: Sheerness, The Dockyard, Defences and Blue Town: 1995: NMR BI NO 93279; Transactions of the Newcomen Society: Skempton A W: The Boat Store, Sheerness: London: 1959-1969: 64).

Listing NGR: TQ9115775249

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