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Latitude: 51.3966 / 51°23'47"N
Longitude: 0.5289 / 0°31'44"E
OS Eastings: 576025
OS Northings: 169434
OS Grid: TQ760694
Mapcode National: GBR PPP.8KH
Mapcode Global: VHJLV.35Z5
Plus Code: 9F329GWH+MH
Entry Name: Former Mast House and Mould Loft
Listing Date: 13 August 1999
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1378590
English Heritage Legacy ID: 476543
Location: Medway, ME4
Electoral Ward/Division: River
Built-Up Area: Gillingham
Traditional County: Kent
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent
Church of England Parish: Gillingham St Mark
Church of England Diocese: Rochester
TQ 76 NE CHATHAM MAIN ROAD
(East side) Chatham Dockyard
Former Mast House and Mould Loft
Mast house and mould loft, now museum. 1753-55, altered 1833. Weather-boarded timber frame and slate roof. PLAN: rectangular open plan with mould loft to 3 middle bays. EXTERIOR: single storey with second storey to middle 3 ranges, and attic to middle. Near-symmetrical range of 5 gables with a further W range, the middle one taller, with raking
.roof across to flanking bay above the mould loft. Ground-floor of continuos garage doors, and wide windows above with glazing bars. Middle range has 7 first-floor 6/9-pane sashes, and 5 attic 9-pane windows, flanking ranges have 2 first-floor 6/6-pane sashes. Middle range has large flat-headed dormers and 3 small ridge louvres, flat roof lights to other ranges, the end ones with 4 dormers.
INTERIOR: an extensive open internal space, the mould loft supported by large posts with diagonal and ships' knee braces, a king post roof to outer sections, and central mould loft floor with a 13-bay collared queen post roof.
HISTORY: used for shaping and storing masts on the ground floor, and for drawing out plans in the wide space of the first-floor loft. The mould loft was extended 1833 to include part of the flanking bays, and was used to layout HMS Victory in 1759, and HMS Achilles in 1860, the first all metal warship in the world. From 1855 it was used as a store.
The last surviving timber mast house in a naval yard, providing evidence in the joints and members of ship-builders' techniques applied to building construction, and part of a fine group of naval buildings within a complete Georgian dockyard.
(Sources: Coad J: Historic Architecture of Chatham Dockyard 1700-1850: London: 1982: 153 ; Coad J: The Royal Dockyards 1690-1850: Aldershot: 1989: 159-161 ; MacDougall P: The Chatham Dockyard Story: Rainham: 1987: 61).
Listing NGR: TQ7602569431
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