View Full Version : Archived: Richmond Dock Appledore Devon

04-08-2009, 08:34 PM
While drving through me and Tankman stopped to have a look at the disused Dock situated at Appledore:thumb

A brief history of the place:
At the end of the 18th century, English oak for shipbuilding was in short supply, so timber was imported from the Baltic. When Napoleon imposed an embargo, a new source was needed. Prince Edward Isle in Canada, was found to have timber of just the right quality for ship-building, and James Yeo from Kilkhampton (just over the border in Cornwall), went to assess the situation. Whilst there, he had the idea of building ships to a seaworthy stage, packing them with timber, and sending them to the Torridge for completion. His son William Yeo organised the fitting out work in Appledore, but the work was done on the open shore, and this depended on the tides.

A dry dock was badly needed, and so the Richmond Dock was created. Construction started in 1853 in a sandy creek known as 'The Parlour', and was completed 3 years later. This entailed the demolition of some alms-houses close to the site, and the construction of outbuildings, rigging lofts, saw mills and smith shops. When finished, the dock brought work and prosperity to Appledore, not only in ship repairing, but in many other maritime trades, from boat building & sail making to rope making & chandlery. The resulting Dry Dock was 330 feet long, 36 feet wide, and could hold 2 large vessels at once.

This Dock is Grade 2 listed by English Heritage but is up for sale or to rent as a shipyard for storing boats but there are also plans for housing which have been published to the local Council, more on the building plans can be found here:



A boat being built during WW2 at the Docks


A birds eye view of the Docks shortly after closure


The main lock gates today




And now, photo from 2006


The abandoned splipways


A local conservation group C.A.S.H erected these railings in memory of the docks


The Dock today

More about the history of the Docks and it's official website can be found here: http://www.appledoredrydock.org.uk/dockhistory.html