Saturday, March 01, 2008

Chatham sheds

Timber Seasoning Sheds, 1774
Scheduled Ancient Monument & Grade II*

In May 1771, the Earl of Sandwich and other Commissioners of the Admiralty Board visited Chatham and were shown how ships constructed from poorly seasoned timber had rotted. Shortly afterwards plans were made to provide timber seasoning sheds in all the Royal Dockyards so that timber could be carefully stored and seasoned before use.

The sheds were to be of a standard design and built in sufficient quantity to provide a 3 year supply of seasoned timber for each yard, at Chatham this equated to 75 bays. All were completed by 1775 and as such the seasoning sheds are probably the first standardised industrial buildings to be erected in large numbers in Britain. Today only two survive - both at Chatham.
The Historic Dockyard, Chatham spotted by Shedworking Scout-at-large Ben Locker

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