Stonehouse, Plymouth

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Stonehouse from Mount Edgcumbe.jpg
Stonehouse from Mount Edgcumbe
Devon UK location map.svg
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Location within Devon
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Plymouth
Postcode district PL1 3xx
Dialling code 01752
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
List of places
50°22′15″N4°09′45″W / 50.370833°N 4.1625°W / 50.370833; -4.1625 Coordinates: 50°22′15″N4°09′45″W / 50.370833°N 4.1625°W / 50.370833; -4.1625

East Stonehouse was one of three towns that were amalgamated into modern-day Plymouth. West Stonehouse was a village that is within the current Mount Edgcumbe Country Park in Cornwall. It was destroyed by the French in 1350. The terminology used in this article refers to the settlement of East Stonehouse which is on the Devon side of the mouth of the Tamar estuary, and will be referred to as Stonehouse.

Three Towns human settlement in United Kingdom

The Three Towns is a term used to refer to the neighbouring towns of Plymouth, Devonport and East Stonehouse in the county of Devon, England. They were formally merged in 1914 to become the Borough of Plymouth. In 1928, the Borough was granted City status by Royal Charter.

Plymouth City and Unitary authority in England

Plymouth is a port city situated on the south coast of Devon, England, approximately 37 miles (60 km) south-west of Exeter and 190 miles (310 km) west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Plymouth Sound to form a boundary with Cornwall.

Cremyll village in United Kingdom

Cremyll is a small coastal village in south-east Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. Cremyll is on the Rame Peninsula facing Plymouth Sound. It is situated close to Plymouth, about 9 miles by road or 1/2 a mile by boat from Plymouth. It is in the civil parish of Maker-with-Rame.



Settlement in the area goes back to Roman times and a house made of stone was believed to have stood near to Stonehouse Creek. However other stories relate to land owned in the 13th century by Robert the Bastard. This land subsequently passed from the Durnford family, through marriage, to the Edgecombe family in the 14th and 15th centuries. The site of the original settlement of Stonehouse is now mostly occupied by the complex of Princess Yachts. [1]

Roman Britain part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire

Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised almost the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland.

Stonehouse Creek, in Plymouth (England), is also known as Stonehouse Lake. The Creek was dominated by two military buildings, the Royal Naval Hospital and the Stoke Military Hospital, which faced each other.

Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester 12th-century illegitimate son of King Henry I of England

Robert FitzRoy, 1st Earl of Gloucester was an illegitimate son of King Henry I of England. He was the half-brother of the Empress Matilda, and her chief military supporter during the civil war known as The Anarchy, in which she vied with Stephen of Blois for the throne of England.

During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries the areas of Emma Place and Caroline Place were home to many of the west country's top-ranking admirals, doctors and clergy. Those streets together with Millbay Road used to form Plymouth's red light district. Union Street, originally built across marshland, was for almost a century the centre of the city's night life with about a hundred pubs, a music hall and many other attractions. Much of it was destroyed by bombing in World War II. After the war the area between Union Street and the dock has been used by small factories, storage, car dealers and repairers. It remains underdeveloped compared with other parts of Plymouth. [2]

Union Street, Plymouth street in Plymouth, England

Union Street in Plymouth, Devon, is a long straight street connecting the city centre to Devonport, the site of Plymouth's naval base and docks. Originally the home of wealthy people, it later became an infamous red-light district and the location of most of the city's night-life.

Notable buildings

Significant buildings include the Royal William Victualling Yard, [3] the Royal Marine Barracks, Stonehouse [4] and the Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse. [5] Of these three defence complexes only the Barracks remain in Naval possession. [4]

Royal William Victualling Yard Grade I listed building in the United Kingdom

The Royal William Victualling Yard in Stonehouse, a suburb of Plymouth, England, was the major victualling depot of the Royal Navy and an important adjunct of Devonport Dockyard. It was designed by the architect Sir John Rennie and was named after King William IV. It was built between 1826 and 1835, and occupies a site of approximately 16 acres (65,000 m2) being half of Western Kings, north of Devil's Point.

Stonehouse Barracks military installation at Stonehouse, Plymouth in the UK

Stonehouse Barracks is a military installation at Stonehouse, Plymouth. It is the home of 3 Commando Brigade and referred to by commandos as 'the spiritual home of the Royal Marines'.

Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse

The Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse was a medical facility for naval officers and other ranks at Stonehouse, Plymouth.

During the reign of Henry VII defences at the mouth of the Tamar were strengthened by the building of cannon-bearing towers. One of these, the Artillery Tower at the sea end of Durnford Street, has been preserved and is now a restaurant. [6]

Henry VII of England King of England, 1485–1509

Henry VII was the King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizure of the crown on 22 August 1485 to his death. He was the first monarch of the House of Tudor.

River Tamar river in the southwest of England

The Tamar is a river in south west England, that forms most of the border between Devon and Cornwall. The area is a World Heritage Site due to its historic mining activities.

Two of the surviving buildings close to the dock at Millbay are the red brick Portland stone-faced Georgian assembly room that is still called the Long Room, and the exquisite late Georgian or early Victorian Globe Theatre 300 metres north within the barracks. [7]

On the higher ground towards North Road are two major churches. Firstly the Anglican St Peter's with its tall spire in the centre of Georgian style Wyndham Square. A few hundred metres east is the mid Victorian Roman Catholic cathedral of St Mary and St Boniface (1858). [8]

During 1882, Arthur Conan Doyle worked as a newly qualified physician at 1 Durnford Street, East Stonehouse. Plaques bearing passages from his works featuring Sherlock Holmes have since been set into the pavement in Durnford Street. [9]


Between 1993 and 1998 the part of Stonehouse to the west of Durnford Street (including the Royal William Victualling Yard) was designated as one of the three areas of the city under control of Plymouth Development Corporation. Gradually affluent residents are moving back into the district which has been comparatively poor since the Great War. Durnford Street is being regentrified. The former Naval Hospital (adjacent to the Millfields – formerly part of Stonehouse Creek) is a gated community with security guards. [10] However, Royal William Yard, also a walled site, welcomes the public freely (apart from car parking charges) to its increasing number of food outlets, and has part of the South West Coast Path running through it, using a staircase specially constructed in 2013. [11] In 2013 a marina was opened within Millbay Docks. [12]

On Stonehouse Creek, a branch of the Tamar, off the estuary known as the Hamoaze are the modern shipbuilding sheds occupied by the luxury motor-yacht firm Princess Yachts who employ hundreds of local tradesmen to construct and fit out expensive vessels. [1] The creek now ends at Stonehouse Bridge (for many years a toll bridge) and to the north east the wide river bed which led up past Millbridge to Pennycomequick and beyond to the bottom of Ford Park Cemetery, was reclaimed and infilled in 1973 [13] to provide the playing fields of Victoria Park and rugby pitches for Devonport High School for Boys. [14]

Stonehouse is the site of Plymouth's international ferry port at Millbay with at least daily sailings to Roscoff in Brittany (except in winter) and frequent ferries to Santander in northern Spain. [15]

There is a regular passenger ferry from the tidal landing Admiral's Hard to Cremyll in Cornwall which is used by visitors to the Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, and commuters to Plymouth. [16]

Notable people

Related Research Articles

Hamoaze estuarine stretch of the tidal River Tamar

The Hamoaze is an estuarine stretch of the tidal River Tamar, between its confluence with the River Lynher and Plymouth Sound, England.

Millbridge is a small neighbourhood of Plymouth, on the boundary of what used to be the towns of Plymouth and Devonport, in the English county of Devon.

Devonport, Plymouth district of Plymouth in the English county of Devon

Devonport, formerly named Plymouth Dock or just Dock, is a district of Plymouth in the English county of Devon, although it was, at one time, the more important settlement. It became a county borough in 1889. Devonport was originally one of the "Three Towns" ; these merged in 1914 to form what would become in 1928 the City of Plymouth. It is represented in the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency. Its elected Member of Parliament (MP) is Luke Pollard, who is a member of the Labour Party. The population of the ward at the 2011 census was 14,788.

Mount Edgcumbe House

Mount Edgcumbe House is a stately home in south-east Cornwall and is a Grade II listed building, whilst its gardens and parkland are listed as Grade I in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.


Millbay, also known as Millbay Docks, is an area of dockland in Plymouth, Devon, England. It lies south of Union Street, between West Hoe in the east and Stonehouse in the west. The area is currently subject to a public-private regeneration creating new homes, business premises, marina, a 1000-pupil school and opening up the waterfront to greater public access.

HMNB Devonport operating base in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy

Her Majesty's Naval Base, Devonport, is the largest naval base in Western Europe and is the sole nuclear repair and refuelling facility for the Royal Navy.

Railways in Plymouth

The network of railways in Plymouth, Devon, England, was developed by companies affiliated to two competing railways, the Great Western Railway and the London and South Western Railway. At their height two main lines and three branch lines served 28 stations in the Plymouth area, but today just six stations remain in use.

History of Plymouth

The History of Plymouth in Devon, England, extends back to the Bronze Age, when the first settlement began at Mount Batten a peninsula in Plymouth Sound facing onto the English Channel. It continued as both a fishing and continental tin trading port through the late Iron Age into the Early Medieval period, until the more prosperous Saxon settlement of Sutton, later renamed Plymouth, surpassed it. With its natural harbour and open access to the Atlantic, the town found wealth and a national strategic importance during the establishment of British naval dominance in the colonisation of the New World. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers departed from Plymouth to establish the second English colony in America. During the English Civil War the town was besieged between 1642 and 1646 by the Royalists, but after the Restoration a Dockyard was established in the nearby town of Devonport. Throughout the Industrial Revolution Plymouth grew as a major mercantile shipping industry, including imports and passengers from the US, whilst Devonport grew as a naval base and ship construction town, building battleships for the Royal Navy – which later led to its partial destruction during World War II in a series of air-raids known as the Plymouth Blitz. After the war was over, the city centre was completely rebuilt to a new plan.

Cremyll Ferry

The Cremyll ferry is a foot passenger ferry across the Hamoaze from Admirals Hard in Stonehouse, Plymouth, Devon to Cremyll in Cornwall. It is operated by Tamar Cruising, and runs approximately every 30 minutes, with a 10-minute crossing time.

Devils Point, Devon

Devil's Point is located on the eastern side of the mouth of the River Tamar where it meets the English Channel at Plymouth Sound. It is also known as Western Kings Point. The Point marks the southwest extremity of East Stonehouse in Plymouth, England. On the opposite western shore of the Tamar is Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. To the immediate north is the Royal William Victualling Yard.

Tramways in Plymouth

The tramways in Plymouth were originally constructed as four independent networks operated by three different companies to serve the adjacent towns of Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport in Devon, England. The merger of the 'Three Towns' into the new borough of Plymouth in 1914 was the catalyst for the three companies to join up under the auspices of the new Plymouth Corporation. The network was closed in 1945, partly as a result of bomb damage during World War II.

Thomas Parlby English civil engineer

Thomas Parlby (1727–1802) Stone Hall, Stonehouse, in Plymouth "the big house overlooking Stonehouse Pool", was a civil engineering contractor described in his obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine as "Master Mason of HM Docks".

Fortifications of Plymouth

The fortifications of Plymouth in Devon are extensive due to its natural harbour, its commanding position on the Western Approaches and its role as the United Kingdom's second largest naval base after Portsmouth. The first medieval defences were built to defend Sutton Harbour on the eastern side of Plymouth Sound at the mouth of the River Plym, but by the 18th century, naval activity had begun to shift westward to Devonport at the mouth of the River Tamar. During the Victorian era, advances in military technology led to a huge programme of fortification encompassing the whole of Plymouth Sound together with the overland approaches. Many of these works remained in military use well into the 20th century.


  1. 1 2 "Sailing out of Plymouth loaded to the gunnels with luxury". The Telegraph. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  2. "Is there any hope left for Union Street?". Plymouth Herald. 19 August 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  3. "Clarence Store Royal William Victualling Yard, Plymouth, City of Plymouth".
  4. 1 2 "Cuts could force Royal Marines from Stonehouse Barracks and hand site to developers". The Herald. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  5. "Royal Naval Hospital". Pastscape. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  6. "Artillery Tower" . Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  7. Historic England. "Royal Marine Barracks The Globe Theatre (1244645)". National Heritage List for England .
  8. "History of The Plymouth Cathedral". Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Boniface website. Archived from the original on 4 May 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  9. "Walk 72 – Plymouth Waterfront Walk". Devon County Council. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  10. "Introduction". Millfields. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  11. "Stairway to Devon opens up at Plymouth's Royal William Yard". South West Coast Path. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  12. "UK's first new marina in five years opens in Plymouth". Motor Boat and Yachting. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  13. "Ancient and Modern". Devonport High School. Archived from the original on 3 January 2004. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  14. Historic England. "Devonport High School for Boys (1386309)". National Heritage List for England .
  15. "Contact details for reservations". Britany Ferries. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  16. "Cremyll Ferry". Plymouth Boat Trips. Retrieved 26 February 2018.