National Grid Reference: SX 000
of Bedford Street
Bedford Street ran from the southern end of Old Town Street, outside St Andrew's Church, to the junction of
Russell Street and Cornwall Street.
Origin of the name, Bedford Street
It is no coincidence
that one of the adjoining roads is called Russell Street, as that
was the family name of the Dukes of Bedford, from which Bedford
Street took its name. It was just a fashionable name to use at
the time, following the completion of Bedford Square in London in
What we know as Bedford
Street was named as "Pig Market" on Benjamin Donn's map of Plymouth of 1765
At the western end of it was the Frankfort Gate, also known as the West
Gate. Beyond the Gate, in
the V of a major junction, stood the Globe Hotel, which after the demolition
of Frankfort Gate in 1783 formed part of the new Bedford Street. The
road to the left (later known as
Frankfort Street) went to Stonehouse and Plymouth Dock, while the road to
the right went up what later became Russell Street in to Mill Lane.
Cooke's Pocket Plan
of the Three Towns, published in 1827, shows the highway between
Westwell Street and Russell Street as being named Frankfort Place
. This is confirmed by Whitfeld
As a result there were no
occupants listed for Bedford Street in 1812 but Frankfort Place
was recorded .
What later became
Bedford Street is shown on Benjamin Donn's 1765 Plan of Plymouth
Town and Citadel as "Pig Market".
Devon & Cornwall Record Society.
Saffron Row, a row of small tenements in Bedford
Street adjoining Saint Andrew's Churchyard, were demolished in April 1849 by
Mr W Skardon at a cost to the Corporation of £21. The site of these
tenements used to be the Fish Market until the Pannier Market was opened in
September 1807. By demolishing them the Corporation was set to lose an
annual income of £90 in rents but as result of their removal Bedford Street
could be widened. Other improvement work was to be undertaken in Saint
Andrew's Street and at the junction of Southside Street and Notte Street.
In 1903 the Globe Hotel was replaced by
the Prudential Building, which is seen in the photographs on this page.
Bateman's, the opticians,
was on the site of Plymouth's other but less famous "Island House".
Messrs J Lyons and Company formally opened their tea
shop at number 18 Bedford Street at 11.30am on Thursday October 18th 1934.
Alderman Solomon Stephens, a local baker and confectioner and president of
the National Association of Master Bakers, performed the opening ceremony in
the presence of the Mayor of Plymouth, Mr E Stanley Leatherby, and Mr I M
Gluckstein, the son of the founder and a director of Messrs J Lyons. 'The
shop front attracted considerable interest with its gold and silver finish
of opal glass and gilded lettering' reported the Western Morning News,
telling also that the interior consisted of marble, peach-tinted mirros,
rose aurora panels, golden Travaline marble, and wainscoting of black,
Belgian marble. There was seating capacity for 300 people and it was
expected to serve each customer in an average time of just 3 minutes.
The "Nippies" were all local girls but the majority had been trained in
London, which for many of them was their first visit to the Capital. A
luncheon was then provided at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel and the tea shop
opened to the public at 12.30pm. 
Bedford Street was destroyed in the Second World War and is now remembered only in Bedford
Way, which runs from Royal Parade to New George Street,
roughly on the line of the old Market Alley, which later became the Bedford Arcade.
Some Views of
looking west to the Prudential Building.
Note John Yeo's, the Devon & Cornwall Bank and the
Borough Coffee Tavern on
the right (north) side.
looking west into Frankfort Street.
Borough House Coffee Tavern
building is on the extreme right.
looking eastwards from the Prudential
Building. Note Dingle's premises on the left.
Westwell Street curves off to the right-hand side.
A ground level
view of Bedford Street, looking east
Old Town Street. The cart (right) is on the
Old Town Street westwards towards the
Guildhall (left), Municipal Office,
Basket Street, and
on the extreme right, Bedford Street.
along Bedford Street,
with Bateman's premises on the left and the
Prudential Building in the distance.
Devon & Cornwall Police Museum.
Occupants of Bedford
Benjamin, "A Map of the County of Devon 1765", facsimile, Devon
and Cornwall Record Society and the University of Exeter,
"Cooke's Stranger's Guide or Pocket Plan of the Three Towns of
Plymouth, Devonport, and Stonehouse", Published October 1st 1827
by John Cooke, 82 Union Street, Stonehouse, Plymouth, 1827.
 Whitfeld. Henry Francis, "Plymouth and Devonport: In Times of War
and Peace", E Chapple, Plymouth, and Hiorns & Miller,
Devonport, Second Edition, 1900.
Picture of Plymouth", Rees and Curtis, Plymouth, 1812.
Improvement - Bedford Street", Plymouth & Devonport Weekly
Journal, Plymouth, April 5th 1849.
Catering Facilities: Firm's Enterprise at Plymouth", Western
Morning News, Plymouth, October 19th 1934.