Sea Flood Barrier Defences at Royal William Yard, Plymouth

Flood Barriers at Royal William Yard Tunnel to Firestone Bay

Royal William Yard tunnel to Firestone BayThe Royal William Yard was built between 1826 and 1835 as a victualling depot to keep the Royal Navy stocked with food, drink and weapons. It is Grade I listed and extends to about 16 acres.

As part of its original design, a tunnel was made in the south east retaining wall to allow for loading and unloading in Firestone Bay when there was an ebb tide or north-west weather.

Tunnel blocked to prevent floodingThe tunnel was blocked at some point, but was opened again as the Royal William Yard started to be rejuvenated.

The area’s changing weather patterns forced the owners, Urban Splash, to invest in flood barriers to prevent seawater flooding during high tides and storms.

Sandbags failed to keep out seawater floodingPreviously, sandbags were used and were not effective in preventing flooding.

Removable flood barrier at Royal William YardIn 2012 Flood Control International fitted demountable aluminium and steel flood barriers that could be erected and removed easily.


The severe storms of early 2014 brought a sea swell that was perfectly aligned to give maximum wave impact on the flood barriers.

These extraordinary weather conditions showed that the 1.5 metre high flood barriers were effective in keeping the waves from breaching the tunnel entrance.

Since the storm, it has been decided that higher flood barriers would be a prudent investment against any future unprecedented weather.

See our video of the flood barriers in the storms.



UK Head Office:

+44 (0)1822 619730

Flood Control on FacebookFlood Control on LinkedInFlood Control on Youtube 

ISO 9001 assured logoISO 14001 assured logoISO 14001 assured logoISO 14001 assured logoRIBA CPD Provider logo

+44(0)1822 619730