Command of the Oceans

A heritage landscape and scheduled monument, conservation and re-use project with a significant new build element, Command of the Oceans unlocks the potential of unique historic buildings at The Historic Dockyard Chatham allowing them to be used as 21st century visitor facilities and galleries. The project enables the story of the most complete dockyard of the age of sail to be fully told for the first time. Works comprise the preservation, display and interpretation of the Namur, ‘the ship beneath the floor’ uncovered by chance in 1995; the preservation of mast-making monuments: the Mast House and Mould Loft, the Mast Ponds and their related external landscape; initial orientation of Chatham’s wider naval and military heritage, the creation of orientation and interpretation galleries; and the resolution of visitor welcome and hospitality services.




Made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and generous support from the Homes and Communities Agency, individuals, trusts and foundations, the project was completed and opened to the public in May 2016.

The project was awarded RIBA South East Regional Award 2017, RIBA South East Conservation Award 2017, RIBA South East Building of the Year 2017, RIBA National Award and has been shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize. Other awards include: Kent Design and Development Awards (Conservation Award) 2017. It was a Regional Finalist for the Civic Trust Awards in 2016 (Conservation Category).

News of the project was broadcast by the BBC and ITV in August 2012.  To view the news clips go to our NEWS pages or click here: THE SHIP BENEATH THE FLOOR GOES OVERGROUND.

Maev Kennedy wrote about the project in The Guardian published on 26 May 2016 Shiver me timbers! Remains of fabled warship HMS Namur dock in museum and Hannah Furness in The Telegraph Remains of legendary 260-year-old Royal Navy warship HMS Namur revealed to the nation

For information about the RIBA Awards please go to our news pages for links or to the RIBA website here where you can read the full judges’ report: RIBA Awards.