The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History
During the 18th century the threat of invasion, especially from the French or Spanish, meant that the Plymouth area was crowded with troops. The Royal Dockyard had been built at the end of the previous century and it eventually dawned on the Government that it might be a good idea if this arsenal was protected from landward attack. As a result the defences at Dock, known as "The Lines", were constructed.
Inside these "Lines" several barrack squares were erected in 1757. Starting from New Passage:
Over in Plymouth, Shepheard's woollen manufactory behind Frankfort Place was made over to a Frankfort Barracks in 1794, the same year that a new one was constructed at Millbay. At around the same time some houses at Devonport were purchased for emergency use and named the Racket Court Barracks.
Also dating from around this time was The Laboratory.
A barracks for the South Devon Militia was constructed in 1840 just off Mutley Plain at the bottom of Townsend Hill. It was known as Mutley Barracks.
Between 1854 and 1858 the sites of Frederick, Cumberland, Ligonier and George Square, were transformed into Raglan Barracks. The whole area comprised eleven acres, of which 3½ were covered with buildings and 4½ acres were taken by the huge parade ground. The Garrison Church of Saint Michael & Saint George was built to the south of Cumberland Road. The Royal Horse Artillery Barracks dates from this time, although they later became known as New Granby Barracks.
During the same period an infantry barracks was erected at Bull Point, St Budeaux.
As both Plymouth and Devonport were by now well built up, it became necessary to move to the countryside to the north. New barracks were therefore built at Crownhill, just below the fort, in 1891-92. The land to the west of the main road to Tavistock was just a parade ground, the gates of which were on the line of the old road as it existed before the Fort was built. The married quarters were constructed in 1898 and four red-bricked barrack blocks in 1916. It became Plumer Barracks circa 1932.
The old victualling stores and, later, Emigration Depot in Commercial Road was by 1897 known as Elphinstone Barracks and housed the Government Torpedo Depot, under Royal Engineer Captain M A Boyd, the chief instructor. It was situated to the south of Phoenix Wharf on the quay now used as a car and boat park.
A hutted camp for the infantry was built at Crownhill in 1900. This later became Seaton Barracks. It was rebuilt between the two Wars and again in 1964.
During the Great War a number of temporary hutted camps were constructed around the outskirts of Plymouth, all in the Plympton Rural District area. These were: Ernesettle Camp, Derriford Camp, Forder Valley/Efford Fort Camp, and Turnchapel Camp.
CLICK HERE for a list of the Army Units based at Plymouth in 1934-35.
In 1937 the War Office decided Raglan Barracks was out-of-date and should be demolished. Work on South Raglan had just started when war broke out in 1939.
The Coypool Depot was
located at Marsh Mills, adjacent to the railway station. It was built for the Royal
Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME) and was opened in May 1941. Railway
access to the depot from the Great Western Railway's
Launceston branch was opened on either November 3rd 1939 or February 12th 1941 (sources
differ), the latter being the most likely given the date that the Depot opened.
Closure of the Depot was announced in 1961.
Closure of the Depot was announced in 1961.
There was a hutted camp
near Vicarage Road, Saint Budeaux, which was the home of the United States' armed forces
while they prepared for the D-Day landings. It was opened in January 1944 and was at
first used for administration only, where records of personnel and pay were kept.
Later it housed some 60,000 troops on their way to the landing ships moored at Saltash
Passage. From July 24th 1944, after the Normandy landings, it was used as as
reception centre for returning soldiers, who were then sent on to other units. The
Camp was de-commissioned on September 25th 1945.
There was a hutted camp near Vicarage Road, Saint Budeaux, which was the home of the United States' armed forces while they prepared for the D-Day landings. It was opened in January 1944 and was at first used for administration only, where records of personnel and pay were kept. Later it housed some 60,000 troops on their way to the landing ships moored at Saltash Passage. From July 24th 1944, after the Normandy landings, it was used as as reception centre for returning soldiers, who were then sent on to other units. The Camp was de-commissioned on September 25th 1945.
In 1965 the Ministry of Defence agreed to swop Plumer Barracks for additional land around Seaton Barracks; the land to the west of the main road had to be vacated by January 1st 1966 and the buildings were being demolished by September 1966, most of the debris being used at Manadon roundabout.
The Garrison Church of Saint Alban's at Plumer Barracks closed on September 12th 1971.
|© Brian Moseley, Plymouth, UK|
Any problems viewing this webpage should be notified to the webmaster at plymouthdata dot info