Elizabethan House, Plymouth

Elizabethan House, Plymouth

Tucked away on a narrow cobbled path, some 20 minutes away from the Barbican marina, is a beautifully preserved 16th-century property called Elizabethan House. New Street, where the house is located, has a deceptive name as it was actually built between 1575 and 1600, when Plymouth was a thriving port.

Now one of Plymouth’s oldest buildings, Elizabethan House was built as a letting property and has been lived in by many people whose lives and livelihoods were based around the waterfront. Rescued from demolition in 1929, it survives in its near original state and as such is a rare example of its time with centuries of stories to tell, from the 1500s to the early 1900s.

In 2020/2021, Elizabethan House underwent a major restoration as part of Plymouth’s Mayflower 400 commemorations, co-funded by Plymouth City Council, Mayflower 400, and other donors.

The ancient doorway at No.32 invites visitors to an authentic journey back to the times of Sir Francis Drake and The Pilgrim Fathers – a bit like the film set, with all the original furnishings and artifacts of the time, and interactives similar to those at the Mayflower Museum not far away. Guided tours are available and last about 45 minutes.

With visual and sound effects, the house has been turned into an immersive experience enabling visitors to actually "meet" its former residents. What kind of people were tenants here? There were lace workers, sailors, laundresses, wig-makers, and undertakers. Three Plymouth mayors resided here, too, including the privateer William Parker, a familiar of Francis Drake and a scourge of the Caribbean.

The house has seven rooms on three floors. The curator meets visitors at the door and leads them into the first room. The house itself can speak, with the voice of a 90-year-old Plymothian who was actually born in New Street. She shares her memories with visitors as they are led through each of the carefully restored rooms.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Plymouth. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Elizabethan House on Map

Sight Name: Elizabethan House
Sight Location: Plymouth, England (See walking tours in Plymouth)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Plymouth, England

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