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Government and the development of a specialised urban system: the case of the Royal Naval dockyard towns in Great Britain

Harris, Trevor Michael


Trevor Michael Harris


Alan, 1928-1995 Harris


Since their inception in the sixteenth century the Royal Naval dockyard towns have, under the control of central Government, combined to form a military-urban system. The dominance of dockyard establishments in the economy of adjacent urban settlements has resulted in the system being comprised entirely of 'specialised' towns and, as the major employer of labour in these towns, the actions of Government have dominated the development and affairs of these townships. The system has been subject to a variety of influences, many of which have impacted on the dockyards and townships via a decision-making hierarchy within Government. In its role as urban manager the policies and decisions of Government have largely been determined by the demands of national defence.

The specific aims of this dissertation are detailed in Chapter 1 and it is not the intention to duplicate them here, but, in general terms this study is concerned with the impact of Government on two levels of this military-urban system. Firstly it is concerned with the various influences and processes which have determined Government policy toward the dockyard system in respect of the origins, maintenance and operational use of the system. Secondly, consideration of the dockyard town is undertaken in regard to the internal social and morphological patterns of the dockyard towns.

The organisation of the thesis reflects these general. aims and falls into two parts. The first six chapters examine the macro influences and processes working on the military-urban system, while the following chapters consider the impact of these processes on the urban and social structure of the dockyard towns. The study is concluded by the presentation of a typology of the development and internal structure of the dockyard town.


Harris, T. M. (1982). Government and the development of a specialised urban system: the case of the Royal Naval dockyard towns in Great Britain. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Mar 5, 2013
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Geography
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Geography, The University of Hull
Award Date Sep 1, 1982


Thesis (49.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 1982 Harris, Trevor Michael. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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