Britannia Royal Naval College

Sir Aston Webb, Dartmouth, 1905


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

View of terrace and sunken gardens 

E. Dockree     Download Original

  • View of terrace and sunken gardens    
  • Facade of the central school block    
  • View of the college site from Kingswear    
  • View of the central school block    
  • The dormitory and day room block    
  • The Captain    
  • Entrance to the Captain    
  • East end of the chapel    
  • The ward room and officers entrance    
  • The kitchen block    
  • The cadets entrance    
  • Interior of the chapel looking west    
  • Organ chamber in the chapel    
  • The dining hall    
  • The school hall from the gallery    
  • The principal staircase    
  • The main corridor     
  • The sick quarters showing balconies at the end of the wards    
  • View of the three sick block quarters    
  • Entrance to the sick quarters and the doctor    
  • Location plan    
  • Ground floor plan    

Land-based naval school - to replace training ships - incorporating school hall, classrooms, lecture theatre, dining room, kitchens, dormitories and chapel

Designed as a new school for the teaching of navy cadets the building replaced the previous training college - HMS Britannia and HMS Hindostan, two ships which had been based on the River Dart.

The site sits 55m above sea level and slopes steeply down to the River Dart, both to the south and to the east. Sir Aston Webb accommodated the slope by the use of stairs and terraces, the main corridor is level but at the eastern end there is a short flight of steps down to the level of the chapel and two short flights at the western end, leading up to the dining room. The slope to the south has resulted in the building of a series of terraces.

The exterior of the building is finished in Portland stone, red brick and Cornish slate. The walls of the terrace are of Torquay limestone and topped with parapets of Cornish granite.

Internally, glazed bricks run the length of the main corridor and some of the stairways leading off this corridor. The main passageways are a delicate shade of green and those on the stairs a rich, deep brown.

The dining hall has oak panelling throughout while the floors and staircases of the rest of the buildings are of concrete covered with teak and pitch pine. The chapel uses a combination of marble and brick to decorate the walls and floors.


  • Begun: 1902
  • Completed: Sep 1905
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £220,600
  • Tender date: 1900
  • Address: Britannia Royal Naval College , Dartmouth, TQ6 0HJ, United Kingdom

Professional Team