The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History

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Updated:  10 January 2011 

The Devonport Town Hall was located in a prominent position facing down Ker Street, adjacent to the Devonport Column.

The Devonport Town Hall in 1942 with a line of ARP vehicles parked in front.

The Devonport Town Hall in 1942, with a line of ARP vehicles parked in front.
  National Monuments Record.

Designed by local architect, Mr John Foulston, to look similar to the Parthenon at Athens, with its Grecian Doric portico, the foundation stone was laid in June 1821 and the building was finished the following year.  Its erection brought about the fervour for a change of name of Plymouth Dock to Devonport, which took place in 1824.  The cost of 2,902, exclusive of internal fittings, was raised by public subscription, the land being given by the Lord of the Manor.  The contractors were Messrs J L Rickard and Bartlett.   The Hall itself is 75 feet long, 45 feet broad and 31 feet high.  There was a tablet over the entrance depicting Britannia.  At the time of its construction the Hall was fitted with benches for the magistrates to sit at, although they could be easily removed when it was needed for a civic event. It was also used as a council chamber and within the building were the police station and the office of the sanitary inspector.

From February 1919 it was used as an Labour Exchange, although when it ceased to be used as such is not presently known.

The Devonport Town Hall has recently undergone restoration.




  Brian Moseley, Plymouth, UK

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