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Sunday 7 August 2011

10 Good Reasons Why

Ten Good Reasons

1.Deptford is the only royal dockyard with its Tudor plan extant. The undercroft of the storehouse, the dry dock, slipways and great basin are all structures that have their origin in the Tudor period c.1517. Nowhere else in England testifies to the Tudor and Stuart arrangement of a royal naval dockyard. Regardless of the condition of the dockyard’s intrinsic structures, which are incidentally described in archaeological reports as extremely good, the plan of these structures has remained unchanged for five hundred years.

2.Nowhere else on the Thames in London is as rich with five centuries of historic association with events of national and international significance and has so little at present to visibly demonstrate this.

3.Simply because the docks, slips and basins were filled in intact a hundred years ago it does not mean they should remain filled in. In particular their below ground position does not make them archaeology, they were built ‘below ground’. Building survey is required in order to fairly and fully assess their future potential. At Rochefort in France, docks filled in a hundred years ago have been successfully excavated and repaired.

4.Deptford was instrumental in securing and maintaining Britain’s worldwide influence, leading the world in industrial design, naval architecture and military technology. The position of Master Shipwright at Deptford was the highest ranking of all the royal naval yards.

5.Maritime technology including the construction of docks and basins was exported from Deptford to its immediate neighbours on the Thames, to the outlying royal yards such as Chatham and across the world. Expertise from Deptford was employed to create the basin at Chatham, the port of Dover and even as far as Australia, where Capt. Sir William Denison, who had built the basin slipways at Deptford, went on to built Fort Denison in Sydney.

6.The success of the dockyard at Deptford gave rise to the wider establishment of Deptford town, and it has been claimed, to the maritime status of Greenwich.

7. The dockyard at Deptford is a significant site not only for the United Kingdom but especially for countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Voyages of discovery by Raleigh, Drake, Frobisher, Vancouver and Cook as well as success in numerous naval battles including the Armada and Trafalgar were made possible by the technology and expertise of the infrastructure and dockyard labour at Deptford. As well as the ‘discovery’ of the antipodean nations, the first transports enforced and voluntary departed from Deptford. Deptford’s expertise contributed to the raising of the Russian navy for Peter the Great in the eighteenth century and for Catherine and Potemkin in the nineteenth century.

8. Deptford is yet to receive the benefit of statutory heritage policy formed in relation to naval dockyards, indeed it may be described as socially excluded from specifically targeted maritime and naval policy created by English Heritage in 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2011. Studies show that areas of social deprivation benefit from investment in their heritage environments. Heritage environments contribute significantly to the wider development of local economies.
1998 http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/thematic-survey-navy/
2005; http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/conservation-bulletin-48/cb4816naval.pdf
2007/ 2011: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/dlsg-maritime-naval-buildings/maritime_and_naval_final.pdf

9. A debt is owed to Deptford by the present inheritors of the statutory heritage agencies for multiple failures by the heritage agencies in the past, including the loss of the Great Tudor Storehouse of 1513 in 1954 and the demolition of the last of the c.1712 storehouse in 1984.

10. Deptford deserves the right to fair and equal access to statutory heritage protection applied to royal naval yards elsewhere in order to secure the economic benefits, the social benefits and the enjoyment of the cultural capital of its heritage environment. Research indicating the presence of phenomena such as the persistence of urban deprivation in particular areas of cities, suggests that poverty and social exclusion may be related to properties of the spatial structure of the physical form of the city.

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