Central Dockyard Laboratory

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Central Dockyard Laboratory
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Department overview
JurisdictionBoard of Admiralty (1956-1964)
Navy Board (1964-1977)
Department executive
Parent DepartmentDepartment of Admiralty(1956-1964)
Navy Department (1964-1977)

The Central Dockyard Laboratory was a subsidiary of the Department of Admiralty established in 1956. It was then controlled by the Admiralty Chemist. In 1964 it became part of the Navy Department and 1977 it was abolished and replaced by the . Admiralty Marine Technology Establishment.


The Admiralty Chemical Department, Portsmouth, originated in the appointment of an Admiralty Chemist in 1867. In 1870 as the work of the admiralty chemist was expanding led to the creation of a chemical department with supporting researchers and clerical staff being established. In 1956 specific functions of the Central Metallurgical Laboratory transferred to the department when it was replaced by the Central Dockyard Laboratory. It provided Support Services for fleet and shore establishments, including metallurgy, chemistry, biology, paint technology and reactor chemistry research.


  • Board of Admiralty, Office of the Admiralty Chemist, (1867-1870)
  • Board of Admiralty, Chemical Department, (1870-1956)
  • Board of Admiralty, Central Dockyard Laboratory, (1956-1977)
  • Ministry of Defence, Admiralty Marine Technology Establishment (AMTE), (1977-1984)
  • Ministry of Defence, Admiralty Research Establishment (ARE), (1984-1991)
  • Ministry of Defence, Defence Research Agency, (1991-1995)