Downs Station

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Downs Station
Royal Navy Blue Ensign 1801 to 1864.gif
Ensign of the last Commander-in-Chief as Rear-Admiral of the Blue
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Part ofRoyal Navy
Garrison/HQDeal Dockyard, Kent, England
John Pennington
LastVice-Admiral of the White
Thomas Foley

The Downs Station [1] was a major naval command area of the English Navy Royal then later the British Royal Navy from 1623 to 1823.[2]

The station was one of the geographical divisions into which the Royal Navy divided its worldwide responsibilities. It was commanded by Commander-in-Chief, the Downs[3] or Admiral Commanding at the Downs[4] headquartered at based at Deal Dockyard.


The Downs was the name naval area of sea during the 17th to 19th centuries. It served as permanent base for the navy operating out of Deal.[5] for warships patrolling the North Sea during the age of sail. The command generally covered an area in the southern North Sea near the English Channel off the east Kent coast it is primarily known in Naval History for the earlier Battle of the Downs that took place in 1639. The station lasted until 1815, when due to a change in area command it was absorbed into the Nore Station's control.

In Command


Naval Formations

Unit From To Ref
Downs Squadron 1626 1834

Naval Shore Establishments

Unit From To Ref
Deal Dockyard 1672 1864
Royal Naval Hospital, Deal 1800 1863

Naval Anchorages

Unit From To Ref
The Downs 1625 ?


  1. Clarke, James Stanier; McArthur, John (2 September 2010). The Naval Chronicle: Volume 27, January-July 1812: Containing a General and Biographical History of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom with a Variety of Original Papers on Nautical Subjects. Cambridge University Press. p. 43. ISBN 9781108018661.
  2. Lee, Christopher (20 Nov 2014). Nelson and Napoleon: The Long Haul to Trafalgar. Faber & Faber. pp. Chapter 7. ISBN 9780571321681.
  3. Papers, Relative to Correspondence between Sir Home Popham and the Admiralty, between 1 January 1787 and 31st December 1792. Oxford University. 1808. p. 198.
  4. Charnock, John (1794). Biographia Navalis; or, Impartial memoirs of the lives of officers of the navy of Great Britain from 1660 (Volume 1 ed.). pp. 29–31.
  5. Robson, Martin (2005). The Battle of Trafalgar. Conway Maritime Press. pp. 29, 36, 158. ISBN 0-85177-979-4.


  • Charnock, John (1794). Biographia Navalis; or, Impartial memoirs of the lives of officers of the navy of Great Britain from 1660, Volume 1. London England.
  • Ireland, Bernard (2001), Naval Warfare in the Age of Sail - War at Sea 1756-1815, 1st Ed, WW Norton & Co. ISBN 9780393049831.
  • Marshall, John (18 November 2010). Royal Naval Biography: Or, Memoirs of the Services of All the Flag-Officers, Superannuated Rear-Admirals, Retired-Captains, Post-Captains, and Commanders. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108022682
  • Rodger, N.A.M. (2004), The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company. ISBN 9780393060508.
  • Schomberg, Isaac (1802). Naval Chronology: Or, An Historical Summary of Naval & Maritime Events, from the Time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace, Volume 5. London, England: T Egerton.