Chepstow’s 107 year-old ‘Slipway 4’ officially re-opens — on site of former wartime shipyard, turned housing development

Brunel Quarter is a housing development built on the site of National Shipyard No.1 — a former industrial giant which played a crucial role in the development of Chepstow and surrounding areas, in various capacities since 1916.


During the First World War, the UK Government commissioned National Shipyard No. 1 to build merchant vessels and warships — many of which were launched from Slipway 4.


The shipyard was bought by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd during the Second World War, and used as a base for manufacturing landing craft and parts of Mulberry Harbour. This facilitated the rapid arrival of Allied cargo onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day 1944.


Later, the shipyard was transformed into an engineering hub (Mabey Bridge) for bridges and other structures — most famous for providing steelwork for the Severn Bridge in the 1960s.


On Friday (14 October), Barratt Developments South Wales officially re-opened the Slipway in the company of residents, staff, contractors, Chepstow History Society and Monmouth MP David Davies — following preservation works to retain part of the original slipway.


Overlooking the River Wye, the Slipway pays homage to the area’s industrial past, with the outline of a warship paved in the ground and brand-new signage on display, bringing the history to life.


And the Slipway isn’t the only piece of history preserved at Brunel Quarter. The old flour mill — a Grade II-listed building — has also been incorporated as part of the development. The mill was built in 1851 by Robert Sharpe, a railway contractor who had worked on Brunel’s railway suspension bridge in Chepstow.


David Kelland, Operations Director for Barratt Developments South Wales, said: “Here at Barratt Developments, we build quality communities that consider all aspects of heritage, ecology and open spaces.


“Brunel Quarter is the perfect example of how a former industrial Brownfield site can be redeveloped to provide quality housing and a new community for the future — made possible by strong collaboration between Barratt and Monmouthshire Council.


“With an affordable housing contribution of £1.2 million, two award-winning site managers, three RSPB-accredited show home gardens, 2.7 hectares of open space and four planned communal areas — including Slipway 4 — Brunel Quarter really is a great place to call home.”


Monmouth MP, David Davies, added: “The transformation of the old slipway into this fantastic new community space is a tribute to the ships built by Chepstow residents over the centuries and a celebration of the town’s industrial past.


“It was a great honour to officially cut the ribbon and meet residents of the Brunel Quarter development, which has stunning views of the River Wye and Severn Bridge.


“Congratulations to Barratt Homes at Brunel Quarter’s site manager Rhys Thomas, too, who has won a prestigious Seal of Excellence award from the NHBC for his work on the site.”


For further information about Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes at Brunel Quarter, please visit: and