Pater Yard

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HM Pater Dockyard
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Pembroke in Wales
Site information
OperatorRoyal Navy
Controlled byNavy Board
Site history
In use1814-1817
Installation information
Resident Commissioner, Pater Dockyard

Pater Dockyard was a Royal Naval Dockyard of the Royal Navy located at Pater (village) or Paterchurch near Pembroke, Wales. The dockyard opened in 1814 and was administered by a Resident Commissioner of the Navy of the Navy Board who was responsible for supervising the principal officers of the yard. In 1832 Pater Dockyard was renamed Pembroke Dockyard.


In 1809, a naval commission recommended purchase of the Milford Haven facility and formal established of a Royal Navy dockyard. [1] After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and the merging of the two sides of the Royal Navy under the Admiralty Board, a School of Naval Architecture was opened in Portsmouth in 1810 and, effectively then, Millford was to be set up as a model dockyard under French management (possibly to develop the manoeuvrability of British ships) from which lessons could be learnt for implementation in other dockyards.[1]

After failing to agree a purchase price for the existing Millford shipyard with Fulke Greville, Charles Greville's heir, the Admiralty agreed purchase of land 5 miles (8.0 km) across the haven from Milford, near the town of Pembroke in a district called Pater (village) or Paterchurch. This was one of the few sites in the haven suitable for building a dock for constructing decent sized ships, as its shoreline was flat but led quickly into deep harbour. Secondly, the Board of Ordnance had purchased 50 acres (20 ha) in preparation from the 1758 report to strengthen the haven's defences,[2] which was added to by the purchase of an adjoining 20 acres (8.1 ha) for £5,500 from the Meyrick family.[1]

The town of Pembroke Dock was founded in 1814 when [Pater Dockyard was established, later called Pembroke Dockyard. Construction started immediately, with the former frigate HMS Lapwing driven ashore as a temporary accommodation hulk. Orders were placed for the construction of 74 gun battleship, and four frigates. However, after the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, although the scheme still seemed ill placed in what would be a smaller Royal Navy, the final plans were given the go ahead on 31 October 1815. The Naval Dockyards Society published a historical review in 2004.[3]

On 10 February 1816, the first two ships were launched from the dockyard – HMS Valorous and Ariadne, both 20-gun post-ships, subsequently converted at Plymouth Dockyard into 26-gun ships. Over the span of 112 years, five royal yachts were built, along with 263 other Royal Navy vessels. In 1832 Pater Dockyard was renamed Pembroke Dockyard.

Administration of the Dockyard (Navy Board)

Resident Commissioner, Pater Dockyard (1830-1832)

Master-Shipwright, Pater Dockyard (1814-1818)

  1. Edward Churchill, 1814 - May 1818.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Guard, John (January 2004). "History of Pembroke Dockyard". JS Guard. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  2. Listing for remains of Pater Fort, 1758
  3. "Pembroke Dock Community Web Project". 15 July 1926. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.

See Also