History of Boathouse 4
Boathouse 4 was constructed during the massive 1930’s rearmament period. Construction of the building stopped as the Second World War began, and a corrugated iron wall was hastily constructed at the southern end of the building, which otherwise would have stretched as far as Victory Gate. This ‘temporary’ corrugated wall remains today.
During the Second World War the building was used for the construction of small craft, including the development of the secret three-man midget submarine, the X-Craft which was used to sink the Tirpitz in 1943. King George VI visited the Dockyard, in secret, to view the project.
In an area dominated by Georgian and Victorian architecture, Boathouse 4 offers a striking contrast in architectural style. It is the only significant 20th century building in the Dockyard, offering unique link to this important period in naval history.