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The Tudor dockyard site lacked the space to build dry docks, leading the Navy Board to build a new yard downstream. By 1618 the new yard, built on the site of the present Historic Dockyard was operational with new storehouses, slips and Ropery. By 1625 a dry dock had been built and houses for senior dockyard officers erected.

The new yard was geographically well placed to support the Royal Navy through a series of trade wars with the Dutch that were fought largely at sea in the English Channel and North Sea. As a result the dockyard became the Royal Navy’s principal fleet base a role it would retain until the early years of the 18th century. Only largely archaeological evidence now remains of the early Stuart dockyard located around the Commissioner’s House and the garden.