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Melville, Royal William Victualling Yard

A Grade I Listed Building in Plymouth, City of Plymouth

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Latitude: 50.3617 / 50°21'41"N

Longitude: -4.1648 / 4°9'53"W

OS Eastings: 246122

OS Northings: 53545

OS Grid: SX461535

Mapcode National: GBR R6N.1T

Mapcode Global: FRA 2852.THK

Plus Code: 9C2Q9R6P+M3

Entry Name: Melville, Royal William Victualling Yard

Listing Date: 13 August 1999

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1378531

English Heritage Legacy ID: 476481

Location: Plymouth, PL1

County: City of Plymouth

Electoral Ward/Division: St Peter and the Waterfront

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Plymouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

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Listing Text

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 20/12/2011

SX 4653 NW

Melville, Royal William Victualling Yard


Stores and offices. 1828-32, by Sir J Rennie Jnr, for the Victualling Board, ironwork by Horsley Ironworks Company. Limestone ashlar with granite dressings and ashlar, granite ridge stacks, -iron trusses-and slate and concrete tile hipped mansard roofs, some copper sheet and copper clock dome, and internal cast-iron columns to timber floors. Late Georgian style.
PLAN: quadrangular plan of single-depth store ranges with central gateway and flanking offices.
EXTERIOR: 3 storeys; 19-window range front and sides. A long symmetrical front with plainer sides has plinth, banded rustication to the ground floor up to plat band, first-floor string, cornice and parapet; segmental-arched ground-floor windows, flat-headed first-floor and square-headed second-floor windows with plain surrounds; small-paned metal tilting casements, some with original stays, 8/8-paned sashes to the former offices; C20 replacements. The front elevation has an ashlar 3-bay central archway with a full-height round archway flanked by 1-window bays with banded pilasters and double 6-panel doors, beneath an ashlar base to a square tower with clocks and a banded bell tower with louvred round-arched openings, cornice and a copper dome with weather vane. 3-window end sections set forward, the middle hoist bays defined by banded pilaster strips, with iron-framed double half-glazed doors to each floor; the far right plat band inscribed "MELVILLE". Side ranges have 4-window end sections set forward, that to the SW side obscured by Drum Alley, the rear elevation has a central hoist bay, and a good cast-iron lamp bracket with honeysuckle motif to the SE corner. The archway is in 3 sections divided by banded pilasters with doors and windows with plain surround. The inside of the quadrangle is similar, the rear range with a central hoist bay defined by pilasters with an iron swing hoist to the second floor, and 2 hoist bays to the sides with ground-floor doorways.
INTERIOR: the double-depth front offices to the N of the archway have axial passages divided by round arches with panelled reveals, cornices, panelled dados, doors and shutters, and marble fireplaces with corner roundels, and a good cantilevered stone winder stair with curtail and iron balusters; a plainer stair to the S side of the archway, and there are stairs in the corners of the rear range and in the NE range. The stores have 2 rows of cast-iron columns with flanged pillows to timber beams; the roofs are the same design as those in Clarence and the Old Cooperage (qv), with wrought-iron king and queen ties, cast-iron L-section struts, I-section principal rafters, and purlins with parabolic bottom flanges, wedged and bolted together. The hip detail to the mansard, and the trusses over the archway, are particularly complex.
HISTORY: built as a general store for clothing and food, and as offices for the Officers and clerks of the Yard. The roof is a rare example of fire-proof construction comparable with contemporary fire-proof textile mills. Little altered since completion, Melville is the centrepiece of the very fine composed seaward front to Royal William. The Yard is one of the most remarkable and complete early C19 industrial complexes in the country, and a unique English example of Neo-Classical planning of a state manufacturing site.
(Sources: Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants: The Royal William Victualling Yard, Stonehouse: 1994: 12-24; The Mariner's Mirror: Coad J: Historic Architecture of HM Naval Base Devonport 1689-1850: London: 1983: 382-390; Coad J: The Royal Dockyards 1690-1850: Aldershot: 1989: 282-290).

Listing NGR: SX4612253545

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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