History

history imagesThe Joiners Shop is a Scheduled Ancient Monument situated at the heart of Chatham’s world-famous historic dockyard. With over 100 buildings and structures, including 47 Scheduled Ancient Monuments, the Historic Dockyard is both an international maritime heritage site and designated conservation area.

This extraordinary building has a long and eclectic structural history, having undergone numerous alterations and additions over the last 200 years. Built around 1790, the form and construction relate directly to the building’s original function – preparing timber for use in warships. At the beginning of the 19th century, the nature and form of the building began to evolve, reflecting changes and developments in construction and engineering technology. The floor structure of the original ‘U’ shaped block around the central courtyard was replaced with a lighter iron structure and the roofing material changed from timber to corrugated covering. A new first floor and lightweight roof structure was also added to the courtyard area. The original courtyard walls were opened up at first floor level, with a cast iron supporting structure and ribbon window to the front façade.

Many of the building’s remarkable original features remain in its latest incarnation – with every care being given to preserve and incorporate them into the new design, wherever possible. Considering the building’s age, it has remained in relatively good condition. Initial surveys showed signs of water ingress so structural work was required to prevent further damage and to create a suitable modern working environment.

Today, The Joiners Shop stands as a showcase for both innovative design and cutting-edge restoration techniques.