Webpage created: April 26, 2021
Webpage updated: April 26, 2021
George Street ran from the junction of Bedford Street and Frankfort Street south-westerly towards Derry's Clock and Millbay Road. George Street, Plymouth, was named in honour of the visit to the Town of His Majesty King George III in August 1789. During his stay he visited the theatre at Frankfort Gate and when the new road was created to link up with the new Theatre Royal it must have seemed an excellent choice of name.
What in 1765 was the road "From Dock" to Frankfort Gate was to become George Street.
As can be seen from the extract from Donn's Plan of Plymouth there were few buildings outside of Frankfort Gate in 1765.
Indeed, when John Foulston, the architect of the Theatre Royal and Royal Hotel, announced his decision to place those important buildings outside of the Town, in the open fields, he was loudly criticised. He responded that his buildings were so important that the Town would come to them. The foundation stone was laid in 1811 within a year George Street was in existence.
Between 1862 and 1864 the properties in George Street were renumbered.
In December 1925 it was suggested that George Street should be made a one-way road going towards the Theatre Royal. However, when it was put into operation at 9am on Monday January 31st 1927 the traffic in fact flowed the opposite way, from Derry's Clock towards Bedford Street. Southbound traffic was diverted through Westwell Street and Lockyer Street but as that meant following slow-moving tramcars, most motorists apparently chose to go via Frankfort and Courtenay Streets causing some congestion at Bank of England Place.
Although the Trustees of George Street Baptist Chapel requested permission to rebuild their Chapel on its original site, this was refused by the City Council in June 1945 but with the proviso that 'sympathetic consideration to be given in finding an alternative site'.
During 1947 some temporary shops were erected by the City Engineer's Department on the land between George Street and Westwell Street. The cost was in the region of £20,000.
That part of George Street between Bedford Street and Frankfort Lane was closed to traffic from November 18th 1947 under section 23 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1944.
Number 39 George Street was Cousins Hotel but on February 15th 1945 appeared a notice that: 'The Directors of Bodega (Plymouth) Ltd announce that the Free House Cousins Hotel will in future be known as "Bodega" - exclusively for men'.
As from March 24th 1952 the tenants of some of the temporary shops in George Street were given revised, and lower, rental figures. These are shown below:
The temporary shops in George Street, Westwell Gardens and Princess Square were to be demolished by September 1957.