OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 19, 2018
Webpage updated: June 19, 2018

        

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ARTIZANS' DWELLINGS, NOTTE STREET

Although sometimes known as the Plymouth Municipal Artizans' Dwellings, implying that the Borough Council had something to do with them, they were in fact an entirely private venture.

Number 13A Notte Street in 1942 after war damage.
  Historic England (National Monuments Record)

The group of buildings on the site, on the south side of Notte Street between Hoe Street and Hoegate Street, were occupied in the 1850s by the Notte Street Brewery.  There were three arched accesses to the site, two in Notte Street and one where the Malt House was in Hoegate Street.  Whether the site was already in the ownership of the Naval Bank is not known.

In 1883 Mr Thomas Bulteel, of the Naval Bank (Messrs Harris, Bulteel and Company), and Captain Giles Andrew Daubeny, whose wife was a Bulteel, decided  to renovate the properties as dwellings for workmen in memory of Mr Thomas Hillersden Bulteel.  Five blocks of accommodation were planned and the first to be completed was  Block A on the southern side of the site, where the Malt House had stood.  It comprised 24 separate dwellings of four rooms each.  Each living room was provided with a box stove especially  made for them by Messrs Oatey and Martin, of Wadebridge, Cornwall, who also supplied the iron work for the balconies on the two upper floors, which were reached by external staircases.  Other iron work was supplied by Messrs MacFarlane and the iron gates were supplied by Mr G P Marshall.  Each floor was also provided with a shute (at that time spelt "shoot") for disposing of ashes.

Block B was the next to be dealt with and this was the one that fronted on to Notte Street.  It was intendeds to accommodate seventeen families 'in even more commodious premises than those already built, and  with shops on the ground-floor', stated the Western Daily Mercury.  The architect was Plymothian Mr Herbert Augustus Keate Gribble (1846-1894).  This block contained what was known as the Elizabethan House, which was to be restored and not pulled down.  During the afternoon  of Wednesday September 19th 1883 a polished marble Memorial Stone,  made at the West Hoe Quarry, was laid in the entrance archway in Notte Street.  It was inscribed "These artisans' dwellings were erected in the year 1883, in memory of Thomas Hillersden Bulteel, by Thomas Bulteel and Giles Andrew Daubeny - Herbert A Gribble, architect; John Wallis, clerk of works".  Beneath the |Stone was placed a bottle containing a scroll and several coins of the realm.

Close-up of the Coat of Arms on Number 13A Notte Street, 1942.
  Historic England (National Monuments Record)

In his speech afterwards Mr Bulteel referred to the conditions in which many of the workmen employed on the site were living, one family in just one room, and said that 'These buildings were erected for the purpose of encouraging the principles of self-respect and decency at home'.  Mr Bulteel was presented by the clerk of works with a box of tools made by the workmen in their spare time and polished by Mr Troake.

After the ceremony about thirty of the workmen dined together at Butland's Golden Lion Inn in Old Town Street, presided over  by Mr J Wallis, clerk of works, and Mr Herren, foreman of works, during which the health of Mr Bulteel and Captain Daubeny was toasted. 

Blocks C, D and E would be completed in due course.

In 1942, following the destruction wrought by the air raids the previous year, the National Monuments Record took the two photographs reproduced above.  They catalogued then as being number 12 Notte Street but the 1939 Emergency Register shows Mr George H Parker, tobacconist and confectioner, as occupying number 13A.  Whichever number it was, it was seen as not fit for habitation and demolished.