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Smeaton's Tower

A Grade I Listed Building in Plymouth, Plymouth

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Latitude: 50.3644 / 50°21'51"N

Longitude: -4.1418 / 4°8'30"W

OS Eastings: 247762

OS Northings: 53799

OS Grid: SX477537

Mapcode National: GBR RBF.1X

Mapcode Global: FRA 2862.J7N

Plus Code: 9C2Q9V75+P7

Entry Name: Smeaton's Tower

Listing Date: 25 January 1954

Last Amended: 9 November 1998

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1386470

English Heritage Legacy ID: 473857

Location: Plymouth, PL1

County: Plymouth

Electoral Ward/Division: St Peter and the Waterfront

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 Enhancement on 04/06/2018


The Hoe
Smeaton's Tower

(Formerly listed as The Smeaton Tower, THE PROMENADE, Hoe, previously listed as: THE HOE, Plymouth, The Smeaton Tower)


Resited upper part of the former Eddystone Lighthouse. 1759 by John Smeaton, erected here on new base in 1882. Circular tapered tower of painted granite ashlar; octagonal lantern with glazing bars and ogee-shaped roof surmounted by ball finial and weather vane; small four-pane windows to tower. When this lighthouse was first built it was considered to be an important technical achievement.

HISTORICAL NOTE: The Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was formed by Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903. From 1905 its members, known as suffragettes, used forms of direct action in their campaign, beginning with civil disobedience and escalating to include serious criminal damage and bombing. On 19 April 1913 a home-made suffragette bomb, consisting of a cylinder packed with explosive matter, was found at the entrance to Smeaton Tower. ‘Votes for women’ and ‘death in ten minutes’ were painted on the outside, but the wick, which had been lit, had blown out and the device did not ignite. These random attacks were carried out regularly by the WSPU in 1913 and 1914. Plymouth may have been targeted as Emmeline Pankhurst was arrested there on her return from a speaking tour of the USA the previous December.

This list entry was amended in 2018 as part of the centenary commemorations of the 1918 Representation of the People Act.

Listing NGR: SX4776253799

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

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