History in Structure

Former Palace Theatre and Great Western Hotel

A Grade II* Listed Building in Plymouth, City of Plymouth

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 50.3695 / 50°22'10"N

Longitude: -4.1535 / 4°9'12"W

OS Eastings: 246950

OS Northings: 54399

OS Grid: SX469543

Mapcode National: GBR R8H.DM

Mapcode Global: FRA 2852.5PT

Plus Code: 9C2Q9R9W+RJ

Entry Name: Former Palace Theatre and Great Western Hotel

Listing Date: 24 October 1974

Last Amended: 9 November 1998

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1386483

English Heritage Legacy ID: 473870

Also known as: New Palace Theatre of Varieties
The Academy
Dance Academy
Palace Theatre, Plymouth

ID on this website: 101386483

Location: Millbay, Plymouth, Devon, 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

Church of England Parish: Plymouth St Peter and the Holy Apostles

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Theatre Art Nouveau Discothèque Bingo hall

Find accommodation in



SX4654 UNION STREET, Stonehouse
740-1/57/832 (South side)
24/10/74 Former Palace Theatre and Great
Western Hotel
(Formerly Listed as:
UNION STREET, Stonehouse
Academy Theatre & Great Western
Hotel (Palace Theatre))


Former variety theatre and hotel. Opened 5th September 1898.
Architects JT Wimpris and Arber. Auditorium damaged by fire in
December 1898 and re-opened July 1899. Brick and yellow
terracotta with ground floor of glazed tiles; plain tiled
roofs with banded brick and terracotta stacks with moulded
cornices; gabled dormers with pediments and 2-light windows
with glazing bars. Northern Renaissance style with Art Nouveau
details. Large corner-site plan.
EXTERIOR: 4 storeys plus attic and 3 storeys plus attic
including taller "piano nobile"; 3:3 bays, each group of bays
symmetrical, the theatre on the right. Moulded architectural
detail includes: entablature above ground floor, string above
2nd floor and modillion eaves cornice between the forward
breaks with moulded cornices.
Theatre has large central Flemish gable with carved and shaped
pediment with finial and 2 statues of Spanish soldiers
standing against the front face on opposing brackets. 2nd
floor below has 2 pairs of round-arched lights flanked by
Ionic half columns and with turned balustrades. Piano nobile
has 3 round-arched transomed windows flanked by similar
columns. Flanking bays have pairs of oculi over large keyed
and consoled lunette tiled panels depicting scenes from the
Armada. Above the left-hand panel is pair of lights like the
central ones and above the other panel is a blind floor
surmounted by a ramped turret with a balcony and oculi and
bell-shaped dome surmounted by ball finial, all rather
reminiscent of Winstanley's ill-fated lighthouse. Ground floor
with glazed tiles has a 2:3:2-bay colonnade of Tuscan columns.
There is another turret with bell-shaped lead roof to left of
the 3 bays of former Great Western Hotel. There is a canted
oriel to 1st and 2nd floors of central bay and the flanking
bays are broken forward. 2nd floor bays have Barque panels
over paired round-arched lights with square columns and they
are fronted by turned balustrades. 1st and 2nd floors have
pilastered and transomed lights with moulded sills and
cornices and fine Art Nouveau panels. Ground floor has moulded
elliptical arch flanked by 2 similar round arches with spoked
fanlights; C20 doors.
The frieze in the entablature above the ground floor of both
buildings has the original fine quality lettering and
decorative detail.
Left-hand return elevation is also richly detailed for 1 bay.
INTERIOR: panelled entrance foyer with pay-booth has fine
Sicilian marble balustraded Imperial staircase leading to
large 1st-floor saloon; lanterns to newels. Foyer and saloon
have enriched plaster friezes with nereids, dolphins, cherubs
etc. Saloon is in Cinquecento style with roundels to coffered
ceiling and enriched spandrels to blind and open arcades with
Ionic capitals to marble pilasters and columns. 2-tiered
auditorium has panelled walls, domed ceiling and curved
balcony fronts (partly supported on slender cast-iron columns)
with military motifs etc. to decorative plasterwork.
Rectangular proscenium arch, with rounded angles, is flanked
by single boxes treated as ships' transoms, with plasterwork
as if clinker planking and with lanterns above (adapted from
former list description).
This building represents the theatre as a place for lavish
entertainment as reflected in the rich and exciting decoration
and architectural detail, with particular attention to
nautical themes.
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Devon: London: 1989-:

Listing NGR: SX4695054399

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.