Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Royal Naval Dockyard | Living History

Located at the very tip of the southwestern hooked end of the island, The Royal Naval Dockyard was established by the British Royal Navy after defeat in the American War of Independence left Britain without a secure operational base between Halifax, Nova Scotia and the West Indies. 
photo featuring my friend who visited Bermuda
The Royal Naval Dockyard was constructed from 1809 into the 20th Century.  The building project involved large land reclamations and the labour of thousands of convicts from Britain who were housed in appalling conditions aboard rotting hulks of former naval fighting ships.

It was from Dockyard in the summer of 1814 that a British force of 5,000 troops and Royal Marines set sail for the famous attack on Washington, D. C. and Baltimore during the War of 1812. It was from one of the British ships that a prisoner, Baltimore lawyer Francis Scott Key, penned the words to Star-Spangled Banner, after seeing the American flag still flying above Fort McHenry after a heavy bombardment
photo featuring my friend who visited Bermuda
The Royal Navy left the main Dockyard in 1951 although the naval base was not officially closed until 1995. For the next two decades the area was largely abandoned until the National Museum of Bermuda was officially opened in the fortress known as the Keep and its success led government to begin to restore the Dockyard as a cultural tourism destination.
Today Dockyard is the most visited site in Bermuda, underscoring the value of architectural heritage to the tourism industry, and the National Museum provides a fascinating journey through Bermuda’s often-turbulent history, from shipwrecks and whaling to the first flying boats and modern tourism.
Dockyard hosts two major berths, King's Wharf and Heritage Wharf.  Of the four docks in Bermuda, they are the only two capable of housing the larger vessels of today.  Over 350,000 visitors come to Bermuda every year by cruise, and most of the ships dock at the dockyard. During the high season (April to October) there are large cruise ships docking almost everyday. 
I have been gone for a while as I was discovering (not so) far flung locales that you will soon see here featured on the blog.  I have a lot of catching up to do as I already had a whole bunch of sites to cover  as part of the 'living where I vacation' series earlier in the year.  I hope you enjoy these, and will continue to enjoy those that are in the works.  I also hope that these have helped you to venture out near and far on your own discoveries, or given you ideas of places you too would like to see (with your own eyes)

~ Josie Jo ~


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