Island House

19 Aug 1999
Island House, 9 The Barbican, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2LR
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Island House, 9 The Barbican, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2LR
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


SX4854SW THE BARBICAN, Barbican 740-1/62/82 (West side) 25/01/54 No.9 Island House (Formerly Listed as: THE BARBICAN, Plymouth No.9 (Island House))


Merchant's house. Late C16 or possibly 1640, the painted date on a roof truss, and also inscribed I G, possibly the initials of the builder or of the person for whom the house was built, however, the inscription may be later than the build date; the house was extended slightly later in the C17. MATERIALS: rendered rubble to right-hand side of front, unrendered rubble to left-hand return, and rear walls; original gable end front on the left and later gable end front to right-hand return are plaster on timber frame and jettied to 1st and 2nd floors; steep dry slate roofs laid to diminishing courses and with swept valleys, the gables with moulded barge boards; large rubble stacks: 2 lateral stacks on the left, the one towards the rear with an projecting corbelled breast and another to rear towards right. PLAN: original 2-room-deep plan on the left with semicircular-on-plan former stair turret towards rear within the thickness of the wall; later in the C17 the original rubble wall on the right was replaced with a timber frame partition between the original house and a 1-room-plan extension on the right. In the C18 the original staircase was floored in and a dog-leg staircase was provided to rear centre. EXTERIOR: 4 storeys with upper floor partly in roof space; 1:1-bay original front gable end and side wall of later wing on its right. The original front with central 16-pane fixed light to gable, over paired C20 copy hornless sashes with glazing bars to 1st and 2nd floors and ground floor with slate-roofed canted bay shop window with similar C20 sashes on the left, and doorway with slate hood with moulded cornice and 6-panel door on the right. Side wall of wing has paired hornless sashes with glazing bars to 1st and 2nd floors and bowed shop window with moulded hood to ground floor. Front gable end of later wing has early C19 canted bay windows with hornless sashes with glazing bars to upper floors, except for top floor which has a later horned sash within a moulded

architrave. Ground floor has early C19 shopfront with glazing bars and wide incised pilasters. To left-hand return to upper floor is a C17 oak ovolo-moulded mullioned window, lighting the former stair recess with the roof sprocketed above. Rear left has similar 3-light window also to upper floor; the other rear windows have C18 moulded sills and 12-pane sashes with glazing bars, those to the central stair position with C18 sashes with thick glazing bars except for half of one of them with a later replacement, and the sashes right of this are early C19 sashes with thin glazing bars. INTERIOR: retains many original features including oak roof structures with lap-dovetail-jointed cranked collars and threaded purlins, the later roof with 2 tiers of collars; chamfered oak floor beams and joists but with some alterations for changes to stair position which also involved the resiting of the partition in the original house but the partition between the 2 phases of the house is the date of the addition of the wing. There are two C17 doors with fluted mouldings, one of which was unhung at the time of the survey during repairs to the property. The fireplace structures are presumed to be original but with some alteration to the ground-floor left and there is now a doorway cut through the ground-floor fireplace at the rear. The other fireplaces are fitted with good C18 iron grates or are blocked, and there is an C18 chimneypiece to one of the blocked fireplaces. The C18 dog-leg staircase has a closed string, ramped handrail and turned balusters. HISTORY: it is reputed that it was at this house that the Pilgrim Fathers slept before sailing to America. Island House is a good example of a jettied merchant's house.

(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Devon: London: 1989-: 663).

Listing NGR: SX4828554058


This is part of the Series: IOE01/0996 IOE Records taken by Derek Hiscock; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Derek Hiscock. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Hiscock, Derek

Rights Holder: Hiscock, Derek


Plaster, Render, Rubble, Slate, Timber, Tudor Jettied House, Elizabethan Monument (By Form), Jettied Building, Timber Framed Building, Timber Framed House, House, Domestic, Dwelling, Merchants House, Shop, Commercial