acquired at an unknown date by the former Deptford Library.
Administrative / biographical background:
The 'Red House', or Royal Naval victualling and supply depot, grew up alongside the Royal dockyard at Deptford in the 16th and 17th Centuries. A warehouse of red brick, known as the 'Red House' was in existence by 1639, in which year it was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 1665 by Sir Henry Gunden, contractor for victualling the fleet, and remained in the hands of private contractors such as Gunden and Sir Nicholas Crispe until 1742 when a Royal Naval Victualling Yard was formally established there. There were repeated fires on the site, c.1726 and in 1748, 1755, 1758 and 1761. A considerable amount of rebuilding took place in the 1780s and most, if not all, of the plans below date from this period. Those with earlier dates are probably copies made in the 1780s. The Yard grew from 11 acres in 1742 to over 35 acres in the later 19th century; the additional land taken from the adjoining estate of the Evelyn family. It received the name 'Royal Victoria Yard' after a visit by Queen Victoria in 1858. During the 19th century it was the largest of the Home Victualling Establishments; biscuit, chocolate, mustard, pepper and other foodstuffs were manufactured on site and large supplies of clothing, food, tobacco, rum and naval stores were maintained. The Yard finally ceased operations in 1961 and the site was redeveloped by the Greater London Council for housing as the Pepys Estate. The Gates survive and the Porter's House, Lodge, Cheque House, Officer's Houses and two prominent blocks of warehouses were retained and converted into flats, a library and a sailing centre.
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