Graving Docks in France and Spain before 1800

By José P. Merino, published February 1985


Innovative techniques were adopted for the construction of dry docks at Rochefort in the 1680s and Brest in the 1750s.  In response to disquiet over the maintenance of the fleet, caisson construction was adopted for the first time at Toulon in the 1770s.  In the same decade, problems at Cartagena were resolved by developing English technology, including the use of atmospheric engines for pumping.  These case studies are supported by a review of graving docks existing in Europe in 1800, and a brief description of nineteenth century developments.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Seven Years’ War
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards

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