Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 26, 2017
Webpage updated: April 11, 2020




Friary "A" Signal Box.

Friary "A" Signal Box covered the entrance to the Friary Engine Shed, the Friary Goods Yard, the Sutton Harbour Branch, and the start of the Turnchapel Branch.  The Box, which was opened on July 1st 1891, was situated on the Up side of line, 461 yards from Friary "B" Signal Box, 924 yards from Friary Junction Signal Box, and 1,004 yards from Cattewater Junction Signal Box.

Like its neighbour, Friary "B" Signal Box, the "A" Box was also of LSW 3b type.  To start with it had only 41 working levers but when the passenger trains started running to Plymstock the fourteen spare ones were brought into use.  In 1908 the junction to the new Friary Engine Shed was installed and the junction with the Plymstock and Turnchapel Branch was altered.  The 55 levers remained in use until 1909, when some of the points were reduced to hand operation and a new frame of 43 levers was installed.

During the Second World War a Munitions Siding was installed adjacent to the Engine Shed and this required levers for points and ground signals.  These were removed after the War.

An unusual feature of this Box was that the Up Home Signal was slotted with the Friary "B" Signal Box Up Starter Signal and thus the signalman at "B" Box could allow a train up to his Starting Signal without having to ask clearance and then suddenly spring its existence on the man at "A" Box, who suddenly found he had a train standing on his doorstep, so to speak.

In 1957 Plymouth Friary "A" Signal Box, which was 924 yards from Friary Junction Signal Box, was open continuously from 8am on Sunday until 12.40am on the following Sunday.  The Box was not provided with a closing switch.

The points were disconnected on March 6th 1966 and Friary "A" Signal Box closed on or as from April 24th 1966.


  With acknowledgement to the work of the late Mr Larry Crosier, of Plymouth, and the late George Pryor, both founders of the Signalling Record Society.