Devonport, a parliamentary and municipal borough and naval arsenal in Devonshire, England, on the South of Devon railway, and on the Tamar, where that river makes a bold sweep toward the east and widens into the fine estuary called the Hamoaze, just before its entrance into Plymouth sound, 190 m. S. W. of London, and 1 1/2 in. W. of Plymouth; pop. of parliamentary borough in 1871, 64,684. Its harbor, one of several remarkable natural havens opening into the sound, is 4 m. long, 1/2 m. wide, from 15 to 20 fathoms deep, perfectly safe, and capable of sheltering the whole British navy at once; but it is difficult of entrance. The town is bounded S. and W. by the river, and E. by a creek which separates it from Stonehouse, contiguous to Plymouth. With these two places it is so closely connected that the three may almost be said to form a single city, and it was not till 1824 that Devonport acquired separate municipal privileges, and changed its old name of Plymouth Dock for its present one. Among its schools are a naval and military free school, and an institution in which 100 girls are educated and clothed. The town has a public library, orphan asylums, and a theatre. Water is brought from Dartmoor, in a winding conduit nearly 30 m. long.
With the exception of some breweries and soap-boiling houses, Devonport contains no factories of importance. The density of the population is greater than that of any other place in England, viz., 130,-000 to the square mile. Devonport is fortified on three sides by a wall, a breastwork, and a ditch 12 to 20 ft. deep cut in the solid rock; while the entrance from the sea is commanded by several heavy batteries. These works were begun by George II. The chief feature of the town is the dock yard, which employs 2,500 men. It was commenced by William III, who built the basin and two docks. It has a river front of 3,500 ft., and a maximum breadth of 1,600 ft., the area enclosed being about 96 acres. There are two dry docks, one double and one single dock for ships of the line, one graving dock, five building slips, and vast docks or basins at Point Keyham for fitting and repairing war steamers, commenced in 1844, and embracing an area of 72 acres. The immense roofs over the docks, consisting of single arches, without buttresses or pillars, are wonders of architectural skill.
A canal 70 ft. wide runs nearly through the yard, communicating with the boat pond.
Guildhall, Public Library, and Column to commemorate the Renaming of the Town.