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The Mast Docks at the Dockyard At Deptford

The Mast Docks at the Dockyard At Deptford

Surveyor: [Dummer, Edmund]

Medium: Ink and pigments on paper

Date: 1698

Shelfmark: King's MS 43

Item number: ff. 75v-76

Length: 516

Width: 671

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Manuscript

As the royal dockyard closest to London, Deptford was the headquarters of the administration of the navy from Tudor times onwards, and the focus of a populous community of shipyard workers. This drawing is part of a comprehensive survey of the royal dockyards made in 1698. This work is attributed to Edmund Dummer who was chief surveyor to the British Royal Navy at this time, and was intended to illustrate the exact state of the dockyards.

This is a record of the mast docks at Deptford. The mast of a ship supported the sails and therefore had to be very strong. In order to ensure strength, the masts were stored in water in the mast dock. This was necessary because as the if the wood was exposed to the air, the differing humidity and temperature would cause the masts to crack. Here the draughtsman has recorded the piles, rails and peer heads which were used to keep the mast underwater.

The amount of ground that each structure occupies and its value is recorded both before and after the Revolution of 1688 when William and Mary of Orange ascended the throne as joint monarchs and defenders of Protestantism, in place of James II.

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