The Chatham Mast Houses and Mould Loft

By Jonathan Coad, published May 1973


This article reviews the function of the mould loft and mast houses constructed at the Royal Dockyard Chatham in the 18th and 19th centuries. The loft is the only surviving intact mould loft from this period. The layout of the mould loft, where it is believed HMS Victory was laid out, is described as is the task of making the full-sized templates or patterns for the building of wooden-hulled warships. Also outlined is the process of fabrication for made masts (as opposed to pole masts), especially for larger warships, and the configuration of mast houses. There is a detailed discussion of the construction of new mast houses and mould loft at Chatham beginning in 1753, including their modification in the 19th century. Four illustrations are included.

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Filed under: Nelson | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards | Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Navies | Shipbuilding & Design

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