Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: July 03, 2017
Webpage updated: November 19, 2019




The Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity was located in Southside Street/Friars Lane, The Barbican, Plymouth.  It no longer exists.

At 11.45am on Tuesday May 26th 1840 a procession of Clergy, Magistrates, members of the Town Council and subscribers was led by the Mayor, Doctor J C Cookworthy, from the Guildhall in Whimple Street to the site for the laying of the foundation stone.  This was carried out by the Reverend John Hatchard, the Vicar of Saint Andrew's Church, who personally raised the funds to build it.  The Government gave 1,000 towards its construction.  After the ceremony, the Reverend Hatchard was presented with a suitably engraved silver salver, a silver tea service and a richly bound quarto Bible as it transpired that this was his 47th birthday.

Designed by Mr George Wightwick, architect, the Church was built in stone in the Doric order.  The contractor was Mr Burgoyne.  Because of its peculiar location, the Church was square-shaped, about 70 feet in each direction.  Its cramped position meant that the only natural light came from a clerestory roof and three windows at the east end, over the altar, which itself was contained in a recess of about 14 feet beyond the main body of the building.  The centre window was a large three-light Venetian affair.  On either side of the altar were entrance porches and there was a third on the northern side to give access from Southside Street.

The nave was about 35 feet high by 37 feet in width and there two aisles of about 16 feet wide and 25 feet in height.  Over the aisles were galleries.  The Church could seat around 1,100 worshippers and 650 of the places were free.

Holy Trinity Church was consecrated by a rather poorly Lord Bishop of Exeter at just after 11.30am on Friday August 26th 1842.  The Bishop had to be carried into the Church and could only speak in hushed tones.  He did, however, walk out to his carriage at the end of the service, supported by attendants.  The Reverend John Hatchard once again conducted the main body of the service. 

The creation of the District Chapelry of the Holy Trinity, Plymouth, was authorised by Her Majesty Queen Victoria on August 7th 1851.  The boundary commenced at the southern end of Zion Street, proceeded along it as far as Notte Street, and then turned easterly through the middle of Notte Street as far as High Street.  It crossed High Street and ran through the middle of Vintry Street to Lower Batter Street, where it turned in a southerly direction to The Parade.  It then ran easterly along the northern side of The Parade and skirted the shore until Commercial Wharf.  From there it passed in a westerly and northerly direction up the middle of Commercial Road to Lambhay Hill, up the Hill to Lambhay Green, and returned along Citadel Road to the southern end of Zion Street.

The vicarage and schools were the work of the Reverend Francis Barnes, incumbent from 1851 to 1904.  He died in 1905 and wasburied beneaththe Church on April19th 1905.  In the following year the Barnes Memorial window was installed on the south side of the Church.   A corresponding window in the north side was installed in 1911 along with new choir stalls.

The last burial took place at Holy Trinity Church on August 11th 1921.

On Thursday February 29th 1940 the Western Morning News reported that: 'Arrangements have been made for the coffins at present in the vault under the former Holy Trinity Church, Plymouth, to be reburied in the Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse Cemetery (actually the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Cemetery) early in April'.

The Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed in the Second World War and never rebuilt or replaced.