ENGINE HOUSE COMPLEX, HASLAR GUNBOAT SHEDS

Haslar Gunboat Yard is a unique naval site at Gosport, Hampshire. It operated as a yard for the housing and repair of British gunboats between 1856 and 1906, and subsequently for the gunboats’ successors and other naval craft. The site comprises a series of original iron sheds for housing the gunboats, part of the traverser system used for their launch and movement and a collection of ancillary buildings relating to repair, maintenance and power provision both for the gunboat yard and the Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar on the opposite side of Haslar Road. The site is bounded by high walls with sentry posts, and has a guard house and police barracks.

The Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, was the first hospital in England to be purpose-built for the Navy, begun in 1745-46 and completed in 1761-62. Although laundering facilities were provided from the outset, these proved inadequate and a new laundry (NHLE 1424209) was planned for the hospital in 1854. The building had a range of large-scale steam washing machinery. The power, hot water and steam for which were supplied by the engine house complex within the Gunboat Yard. This complex appears to have been based around an earlier well-house complex, which was used to supply water to the hospital, possibly from as early as the late C18. By the mid-C19 there were two well shafts and a horse-powered pumping mechanism used to bring up the water from the wells and pump it across the road to the water tanks for the hospital. At the same time as the construction of the new laundry, this complex was re-fitted and an engine house and boiler house constructed.

We have undertaken evidence based research to understand the heritage values and historic development of this complex to enable informed decisions to be made about repairs and alterations. By assessing the physical evidence within the complex it has helped us to understand the special qualities of the site and its significance as a whole and within its wider context.

The former Boiler House, Engine House, Transformer Room and Well Houses will be converted into a single residential property. Careful conservation work will be undertaken to the historic fabric and the roof will be repaired and returned to a slate covered roof as originally built.

Internally, new additions will be inserted to create mezzanine floors whilst maintaining areas of double height volume. These insertions will have a light touch against the historic fabric, being independently supported on a new steel frame. In designing the works, a full understanding of the historic development has been undertaken and the various phases have been recorded. This has included identifying evidence within the historic fabric where changes have been made. These features have been recorded and will be either left exposed or left untouched and concealed beneath new work.

A small glazed extension will be constructed in the north yard on the site of the former Ablution Block. To the east of the yard, a flat roof car port and store will be constructed on the site of the former Coal House.

Project Details

  • Client: Private

  • Designation: Grade II listed

  • Status: On site

  • Project Value: £ undisclosed


Sharon Pritchard