Elizabethan House

Elizabethan House

Built in the late 1500s when Plymouth was a thriving port, the Elizabethan House is a rare, surviving example of its time.

The date of the house's first known recorded occupant is 1631, and the last recorded occupant relinquished their deeds in 1929. The house was then saved from demolition and opened in 1930 as a visitor attraction.

A home to merchants, businessmen, fishermen, washerwomen and dressmakers, throughout the last four centuries the house - with its timber frame, bare wooden floors, oak beams, spiral staircase and white plaster walls - has stood almost unaltered, while the fortunes of those living and working around the Barbican have risen and fallen.

The house survived the Blitz as well as extensive slum clearances in the early 1900s. It has been closed since 2015 for essential restoration and re-interpretation. This project, supported by Plymouth City Council, Mayflower 400, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Coastal Revival Fund, Historic England and The Pilgrim Trust, will resolve a number of long-term issues with the property and create a brand new immersive experience for residents and visitors to enjoy.

To date works have included:

  • Detailed structural investigation to assess the condition and identify key issues
  • Installation of scaffolding and the creation of a temporary site compound at the end of New Street
  • Cleaning, floor strengthening, assessment for the foundations of a new extension and repair work to the external structure and oak timbers
  • The development of concepts for the interpretation of the house
  • Community consultation led by The Box

Future works will include:

  • Further structural improvements and repairs
  • Construction of a small, two-storey extension to the rear of the building
  • Delivery and installation of new interpretation