Elizabethan House refurb nears completion ahead of opening later this year

Elizabethan House refurb nears completion ahead of opening later this year

19 March 2021

The restoration of one of Plymouth’s most historic buildings is almost complete, as major refurbishment works at the Elizabethan House approach the finishing line.

The grade 2* listed property, which dates from the late 1500s, has been closed for the last six years.

During that time a team of specialist conservation architects, building and fit out contractors have been working hard on site carrying out condition assessments, archaeological surveys and major repairs to the house’s interior and external structure.

The project has also included a programme of works to strengthen the floors and foundations and the creation of a new two-storey extension at the rear.

Now the works are coming to an end, plans are being made to re-open the house later this year. Once people are able to visit they’ll be treated to a new immersive experience that uses sound and projection to tell the story of the house, its many residents and the Barbican over the last four centuries.

Councillors Pete Smith and Tudor Evans inside the Elizabethan House
Councillors Pete Smith and Tudor Evans inside the Elizabethan House

Councillor Pete Smith, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council said:

This £1.7million project has certainly been a challenge for everyone involved given the age, size and layout of the Elizabethan House – but I’m really excited to see it move towards completion, and it’s a real privilege to be able to give this rare, surviving example of its time a brand new lease of life.

The Elizabethan House was here when the Mayflower set sail so this project is a fantastic legacy from our Mayflower 400 commemorations. What’s even better is the brand new visitor experience we’ll be able to offer everyone – an experience that tells the story of real people from Plymouth who haven’t been given voices before. Six years is a long time, but it will definitely have been worth the wait!

The project has been led by Destination Plymouth and the Plymouth City Council project team and funded by Plymouth City Council, Mayflower 400, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Coastal Revival Fund, Historic England and The Pilgrim Trust. The new Elizabethan House experience will take visitors on a journey through time. The Visitors will get to ‘meet’ some of the key characters who once lived in the house. Themes such as trade, work, emigration, everyday life and women’s rights will be explored, as well as the history of the property itself.

Window detail
Interior of Elizabethan House - 1st floor
Interior of Elizabethan House - second floor

Amanda Lumley, Executive Director of Destination Plymouth said:

The Elizabethan House will be a valuable asset to the Plymouth visitor experience when it opens later this summer. Destination Plymouth is very proud to have worked closely with PCC projects team to re-imagine and restore the house into an authentic, fascinating experience for locals and visitors to the city alike. We are already getting forward booking interest from travel agents and tour operators for the 2022 season and see it as a key part of our city’s heritage offer going forwards.

A re-opening date will be confirmed soon and tickets to the Elizabethan House will be available to book in person via the Tourist Information Centre and online.