The Royal Navy and the Dockyard

The Box

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Plymouth has been linked with the history of the Royal Navy for centuries and has the largest naval base in Western Europe.

The huge site in Devonport, which dates from the 1690s, covers four miles of waterfront and 650 acres. It has 15 dry docks, 25 tidal berths and five basins.

You can learn more about it on the Royal Navy website and the BBC’s website.

Although not open to the public, the Visit Plymouth website states that you can enjoy impressive views over the base from two high points in the city. One of these is at Park Avenue, Devonport and the other is from either the Savage or Poole Roads, Barne Barton.

We highlighted the work of the excellent Naval Base Heritage Centre earlier today.

You can also find an interesting article on the National Archives website, if you’re doing some family history research and you’re looking for records relating to Royal Naval dockyard staff.

In the meantime, here’s a new video clip produced especially for this year’s History Festival. It includes some great archive footage of the field gun crew, HMS Ark Royal and HMS Penelope’s return from the Falklands.

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