Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 16 2016
Webpage updated: January 01, 2019

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The penultimate phase of growth of the Royal Dockyard, the North Yard Extension, was begun without ceremony in February 1896 under the authority of the Naval Works Act 1895.  It was carried out under the watchful eye of Sir John Jackson and his Superintendent Civil Engineer (Sir) Whately Eliot MICE.  It covered 114 acres, of which 35 acres was above the high water mark chiefly on reclaimed land, and 78 acres were foreshore.  The cost to the the nation was some 6 million.

Central to the extension was the large tidal basin, which covered 35 acres.  It measured 1,550 feet in length, 1,000 feet in width and was 55 feet deep.  The cost of that alone was 3,175,000.  The scheme also provided for three graving docks and a large entrance-lock.  When completed, the Royal Dockyard would have ten docks and five basins.

On Saturday January 13th 1905 Lady Jackson, with some assistance from her husband, opened the sluice that started the water flowing to flood the tidal basin.

North Yard Extension was officially opened on Wednesday February 20th 1907 by HRH the Prince of Wales, later King George V, although the first ship, HMS "Hibernia", had docked there on Friday August 10th 1906.

In 1908 the Yard's first revolving crane capable of handling ordnance of up to 75 tons was installed alongside the Prince of Wales' Basin.

Devonport Dockyard acquired a floating dock in 1876.  On a detailed map of the Dockyard produced by the Ordnance Survey for the Admiralty in 1912, the floating dock  is shown moored at the most northerly quay in North Yard Extension.