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Number 1 Workbase

A Grade II* Listed Building in Chatham, Medway

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Latitude: 51.3947 / 51°23'40"N

Longitude: 0.5264 / 0°31'34"E

OS Eastings: 575855

OS Northings: 169215

OS Grid: TQ758692

Mapcode National: GBR PPP.FX1

Mapcode Global: VHJLV.26MN

Plus Code: 9F329GVG+VH

Entry Name: Number 1 Workbase

Listing Date: 13 August 1999

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1378631

English Heritage Legacy ID: 476585

Location: River, Medway, ME4

County: Medway

Electoral Ward/Division: River

Built-Up Area: Chatham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Gillingham St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Chatham Dockyard
No.1 Workbase


Workshop. 1861, erected by Grissels, with later extension and heightening to roof structure. Cast- and wrought-iron frame with brick infill between stanchions to exterior and with corrugated iron cladding to front and rear gables and to roof; additional glazing and clerestorey to roof. L-plan, with long range alongside No.2 dock (qv) added soon after the construction of an approx. 90- foot deep workshop range constructed at the head of the infilled No.1 dock. Gabled front, with
-double entry: is mostly glazed with thin vertical glazing bars below roof line. Two glazing-bar sashes to left. Rear gable and left-hand return has similar row of glazed lights, the latter above row of mid C20 casement windows with double doors to left. Right-hand return has row of fixed lights with small-pane casements. Range of similar construction alongside No.2 dock has brick facing to dockside (right) return.
INTERIOR: 5-bay front block, with I-section stanchions cast with brackets to left-hand side and wrought-iron trusses raised to present height in c.1886. Wrought-iron roof with traveller crane still in-situ in range alongside No.2 dock.
HISTORY: this building is a highly significant survival within the context of both naval and commercial shipbuilding in the C19.lt was built in order to house the forges and furnaces for the building of HMS Achilles in No.2 dock. Achilles was the first iron ship built in the British naval yards, in response to the French navy's 'Gloire'. Chatham was chosen because of its proximity to the Thames yards. The original design drawings were sent to Chatham in October 1860, when the matter of altering the dock to accommodate Achilles -and provide flanking taveller cranes - and building the workshops was put in hand. This building contained a furnace for heating armour plate, and machinery for the subsequent bending and planing processes. Drawings dated May 1886 show the roof and its intended heightening, which must have been carried out soon afterwards.
(Evans D: Archive Research for English Heritage, 1996)

Listing NGR: TQ7588269200

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