Ireland Island on Bermuda developed into an important naval base for the British from the early 1800s. The harbour was well protected by coral reefs and Ireland Island evolved as an important Royal Naval Station. There was a requirement for a dry dock to service ship, but the porous sandstone allowed water to seep into any dry dock and thus it was not feasible to build a dry dock within the dockyard. The solution was to build a floating dry dock in the United Kingdom and then take it out to Bermuda. The dry dock could accommodate the new ironclad warships and was 380 feet long and 120 feet wide. It had a displacement of 8,400 tons. The iron dry dock was built near Woolwich on the Thames and was launched in 1869.
The dry dock was moved to Bermuda in 1869, under tow at under 5 knots for the 4,000 nautical mile journey. The dry dock remained in use until 1906. She was towed away as scrap but floundered on Spanish Point.
At the time time this was the only Royal Naval Base with a floating dry dock.