Royal William Victualling Yard :: Shared Description

The Royal William Victualling Yard occupies virtually the whole of the Devil's Point peninsula - about 18 acres - to the south of Stonehouse within the conurbation of Plymouth.
The Yard was given Royal Assent on June 3rd 1824 during the reign of King George IV, but was not completed until 9 years later by which time George had died and his brother William had become King William IV. So the Yard was named after this latter monarch on 3rd December 1833.
The architects of this fine set of buildings (much admired by the architectural historian, Pevsner) were Sir John Rennie the Younger (1794-1874) and Philip Richards, and the contractor was Hugh McIntosh. The cost of the building was estimated at £2,000,000 which in the early C19th was a colossal amount of money, equivalent to billions today.
The original purpose of the Yard, as its name suggests, was to supply victuals - that is food, drink and provisions - for the Royal Navy. With the burgeoning British Empire in the C19th, the Navy grew in size dramatically, and so therefore did its requirement for victuals. This Yard therefore played an important part in "oiling the wheels" of the vast machine that was the Royal Navy. Not only food items but uniforms and all the general paraphernalia required by the Navy's ships (other than munitions etc.) was stored here. In addition the yard contained a brewery, a slaughterhouse, mill, bakehouse and, essentially, a huge cooperage. Barrels made by the coopers were required in vast quantities to store the provisions on board the ships - not just liquids such as beer, but salted meats etc.
As the character of the Royal Navy changed over the decades, so the Yard had to adapt; and during the C20th, with the decline in Britain's maritime supremacy, the Yard suffered a similar decline. In 1992 the Navy gave up ownership of the land and buildings and they passed into private hands. Since then the Grade I listed buildings have had numerous uses, but are now undergoing major renovations and conversion into apartments, businesses, restaurants and galleries.
by Rob Farrow
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SX4553 : Royal William Victualling Yard - Clarence Block by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Victualling Yard - Melville Block by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - Brewhouse by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - crane by N Chadwick
SX4553 : Royal William Yard by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - Bakery by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - Melville Building by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Victualling Yard - wall by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Victualling Yard - Melville Block by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - Wildwood by N Chadwick
SX4553 : Royal William Yard by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Officers Houses, Royal William Yard by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Victualling Yard - Melville building by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Melville, Royal William Victualling Yard by Rob Farrow
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - police building by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - brewery by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - Police block by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - market setting up by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Victualling Yard - Bakery by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard - Old Cooperage by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Victualling Yard by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Victualling Yard - Mills & Bakery by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Victualling Yard - Melville building, Clock Tower by N Chadwick
SX4653 : Royal William Yard by N Chadwick

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Created: Tue, 2 Nov 2010, Updated: Wed, 9 Feb 2011

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2010 Rob Farrow, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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