Williamstown Dockyard

Williamstown Dockyard

Williamstown Dockyard was one of Australia's principal ship building yards at Williamstown, Victoria, Australia.

The Colony of Victoria decided to construct a large slipway at Williamstown to provide ship repair facilities in 1856 and the Government Patent Slip was opened in 1858. Slip Pier was built in 1858 and was used in conjunction with the Government Patent Slip. The Slip Pier was later known as the Lady Loch Jetty after the similarly named Government steamer. The pier and Government Patent Slipway were demolished in 1919.

In 1858, the Colony of Victoria decided to build a graving dock and dockyard. Construction commenced in 1868, and was completed in February 1874. The Alfred Graving Dock, named after Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was built at a cost of £300,000. The graving dock was 143 metres (469 ft) in length, 24 metres (79 ft) wide, 8 metres (26 ft) deep. The dock was designed by William Wardell for the Public Works Department (Victoria), and it was the largest structure of its type in the southern hemisphere.[1] [2]

The Dockyard Pier, originally known as Dock Pier was constructed in 1874 for use with vessels engaged in pre/post docking in the Alfred Graving Dock. In the 1870s, the railway department contracted for the construction of a new pier to meet increased demand imposed by wool and later grain handling. When completed in 1878, it was initially referred to as the Western Pier, but was later renamed New Railway Pier. It was rebuilt in 1915 and 1927 and was renamed Nelson Pier in 1923. The pier and surrounding land was purchased by the Commonwealth in 1967, and use of the facility declined. Demolition work began in 1979 due to its poor condition. Nelsons Pier West was constructed in 1978 to replace the nearby Nelson Pier. It provided two cranes and two berths for the refitting and outfitting of warships. Reid St Pier was constructed for the Melbourne Harbour Trust for exclusive use with its own floating plant in September 1891. It was later used to house the tug fleet, and was rebuilt in 1949.

In 1913, the dockyard was known as the State Shipbuilding Yard and was requestioned in 1918 by the Commonwealth. Ownership passed to the Melbourne Harbor Trust in 1924 and during World War II it was requestioned by the Commonwealth in 1942 and was known as HM Naval Dockyard Williamstown, or Williamstown Naval Dockyard. In 1987 it passed into private control of Tenix Defence and then acquired by BAE Systems Australia.

Vessels constructed at Williamstown Dockyard

Name Type Class Completed Notes
HMAS Anzac (D59) Destroyer Battle 1951
HMAS Anzac (FFH 150) Frigate Anzac 1996
HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) Frigate Anzac 1998
HMAS Ballarat (J184) Corvette Bathurst 1941
HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) Frigate Anzac 2004
HMAS Benalla (J323) Corvette Bathurst 1943
HMAS Castlemaine (J244) Corvette Bathurst 1942 Preserved as museum ship in Williamstown, 600m from the slipway where she was constructed.
HMAS Cook (A 219) Survey Vessel 1980
AV Crusader (AV2767) Army Cargo Ship 1945
HMAS Culgoa (K408) Frigate Bay 1945
HMAS Derwent (DE 49) Destroyer Escort River 1964
HMAS Echuca (J252) Corvette Bathurst 1942 Transfered to RNZN on 5 March 1952, and served as HMNZS Echuca.
HMAS Flinders (A 312) Survey Vessel 1973
HMAS Geelong (J201) Corvette Bathurst 1942 Sank on 18 October 1944, after colliding with a tanker north of New Guinea. No lives were lost.
HMAS Horsham (J235) Corvette Bathurst 1942
HMAS Kooronga Tug 1924
HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) Frigate Adelaide 1992
HMAS Newcastle (FFG 06) Frigate Adelaide 1994
HMNZS Otago (P148) Offshore Patrol Vessel Protector 2010
HMAS Parramatta (FFH 154) Frigate Anzac 2003
HMAS Perth (FFH 157) Frigate Anzac 2006
HMAS Shepparton (J248) Corvette Bathurst 1943
HMAS Stawell (J348) Corvette Bathurst 1943 Transfered to RNZN on 5 March 1952, and served as HMNZS Stawell.
HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) Frigate Anzac 2002
HMAS Swan (DE 50) Destroyer Escort River 1970
TRV Tailor (803) Torpedo Recovery Vessel 1971
HMNZS Te Kaha (F77) Frigate Anzac 1997
HMNZS Te Mana (F111) Frigate Anzac 1999
HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156) Frigate Anzac 2005
TRV Trevally (802) Torpedo Recovery Vessel 1971
TRV Tuna (801) Torpedo Recovery Vessel 1971
HMAS Vendetta (D08) Destroyer Daring 1958
HMAS Warramunga (FFH 152) Frigate Anzac 2001
HMNZS Wellington (P55) Offshore Patrol Vessel Protector 2010
HMAS Yarra (DE 45) Destroyer Escort River 1961


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Coordinates: 37°51′50″S 144°54′41″E / 37.86389°S 144.91139°E / -37.86389; 144.91139

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