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Various service buildings at the Dockyard at Deptford

Various service buildings at the Dockyard at Deptford

Surveyor: [Dummer, Edmund]

Medium: Ink and pigments on paper

Date: 1698

Shelfmark: King's MS 43

Item number: ff. 71v-72

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 drawing and accompanying text records the structure and function of some of many timber and brick buildings that housed essential workers and equipment. Oar makers, builders, carpenters and painters are among those mentioned. More curious are 'trenaile house' and 'trenaile mooters shop'. A treenail is a cylindrical pin, made of hard wood that was used to fastening timbers together, which would be exposed to the action of water. A mooter is someone who smoothes the treenails and makes them the proper size, using a tool called a moot.

The draughtsman has provided detailed elevations as well as plans of the interior space. 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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