Dover Dockyard

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HM Naval Dockyard Dover
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Dover, Kent in England
Site information
OperatorNavy Royal
Royal Navy
Controlled byNavy Board
Board of Admiralty
(1832-1920, 1939-1945)
Site history
In use1583-1920, 1939-1945
Installation information
Admiral Superintendent, Dover
Captain Superintendent, Dover
OccupantsDover Patrol

Dover Dockyard or formally HM Naval Dockyard Dover was a British Royal Navy dockyard and harbour facility located at Dover, Kent, 1606 to 1920 and again from 1939 to 1945. It was part of the Nore Station until 1939 then Dover Command until the end of the Second World War.

The dockyard was managed by the Navy Board until 1832 and thereafter the Board of Admiralty.


In the Middle Ages Dover was one of the cinque ports, who were required to provided ships and crews for the king. It was also a busy little port. Many fishermen lived in Dover and merchant ships carried cargoes to and from France. Through the centuries Dover continued to be a busy port and in 1583 it was given an enclosed harbor. However in 1665-66 Dover suffered an outbreak of plague. Nevertheless it continued to grow. In the 18th century Dover was known for its shipbuilding and rope making industries as well as its fishermen. There was also a leather industry in Dover. In 1793 Britain went to war with France. So in 1794-95 a network of fortifications were created on the heights overlooking Dover.

In 1847 the government began construction on Dover's Admiralty Pier, envisaged as forming the western arm of a protected haven. This project was only completed after work began on the eastern pier in 1898; the Admiralty Harbour was formally opened in 1909.[1] During World War One the dockyard was utilized as a ship repair station and was listed as a Naval Dockyard. Towards the end of the the first world war, the Naval uses of the Eastern Dockyard diminished so the facilities were used for ship repairs. Following Armistice, the Dockyard was used for ship breaking of ships classed as obsolete and in March 1920, the Admiralty leased the Dockyard to Stanlee Ship breaking Company for ten years.[2]

By 29 September 1923, the Admiralty Harbour, comprising of 610 acres, was handed over to the control of the Dover Harbour Board and officially renamed the Outer Harbour.[3] The Admiralty retained the Camber. During World war two the dockyard was requisitioned by the Admiralty for the duration of the war. It was a component shore establishment of the larger Dover Command.

In Command

Kings Harbour Master, Dover

  1. Commander Stewart E. Forster, 25 February, 1910 – 9 October, 1913.[4].[5]
  2. Captain Edward Winthrop, (retd), 25 January, 1915 – 5 February, 1915.
  3. Captain Arnot Henderson, (retd), 5 February, 1915 – 11 December, 1916.

Assistant Kings Harbour Master, Dover

  1. Commander: Francis T. Barr. (retd), 15 February, 1907 - April, 1913.[6][7]

Superintending Civil Engineer, Dover

  1. Mr. C. H. Colson. 10 November, 1908 - August, 1912.[8]
  2. Mr. A. D. Shortridge. August, 1912 - April, 1913.[9]

Admiral-Superintendent, Dover Dockyard

  1. Rear-Admiral Cecil F. Dampier, 18 June, 1917 – 1 June, 1918 (and as S.N.O.Dover.)

Captain-Superintendent, Dover Dockyard

  1. Captain Frederic Archibald Hunter Russel, RN (retd) 1940-1944.


  1. "Eastern Dockyard – Part I to 1945". The Dover Historian. Dover Historian. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  2. The Dover Historian
  3. The Dover Historian
  4. Admiralty, British (August 1912). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 550.
  5. Admiralty, British (August 1912). The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 549.
  6. The Navy List. Aug. 1912. p.550.
  7. The Navy List. Apr. 1913. p.549.
  8. The Navy List. Aug. 1912. p.550.
  9. The Navy List. Apr. 1913. p.549.