Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: May 01, 2017
Webpage updated: April 21, 2022

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The largest and most significant building within the Keyham Steam Yard was The Quadrangle.  The Quadrangle was designed by Mr Charles Barry and on its own covered about 10 acres.  It measures 780 feet long by 354 feet broad.  It is covered by a vast glass roof containing upwards of 20,000 panes supported on iron girders resting on iron columns.  Sometimes the Quadrangle was referred to as "The Factory".  

The Quadrangle was divided into various shops.   On the south side were the Turnery, with a Fitting Shop above; a Heavy Turnery; and the Erecting Shop.  On the western side were Number 1 Store, at the southern end, ofices over the central entrance, and Number 2 Store, with Sail Loft over, at the northern end.  A Boiler Shop and Boiler Machine Shop occupied the north side and an Iron Foundry the east side, the two chimneys of which remain a landmark even today.  Also in the complex were shops for the coppersmiths, blacksmiths, erecting, clipping, punching, and drilling and a smithy run in connection with the foundry.  There were a number of Nasmyth's steam hammers in the foundry, including one named "Thor", which weighed five tons.  It could hit with a stroke of one hundred tons or just the force to crack a nut.  The Quadrangle was filled with boilers of all shapes and dimensions, each baring the name of a ship, as they were duplicates of those in use in the ships whose names they carried and could thus be used to quickly replace boilers in the event of accidents.

To the rear, or east, of the Quadrangle is the Iron Foundry, with its two massive chimneys.