In 1800 the British assumed control of Malta and immediately utilised the dockyard facilities that had been developed by the Knights of St John. The Grand Harbour included five creeks,
Marsa Creek to the West of Corradino Heights
France Creek which became the main Royal Navy Dockyard
Dockyard Creek which included the Victualling Yard and Bakery
Kalkara Creek which had the sheer legs and Knight’s warehouses
Rhinella Creek to the West of Fort Rinella
The Royal Navy was initially concentrated around Dockyard Creek which by 1850 included a bakery, storehouses, victualling yard, steam factory and residences. A double dry dock was built here between 1844 and 1847. These Number 1 and Number 2 docks were the first dry docks built outside the United Kingdom by the British.
During the second half of the 19th Century, the increasing size and complexity of warships, led to the development of French Creek as the main dockyard with five dry docks. One of these was a double dry dock and a floating dry dock was also added. These were numbered Dry Dock Three to Seven. Between 1861 and 1909 this building program saw Malta evolve to become the most important British Naval base inside the Mediterranean.