From time to time there have been lively debates about the spelling of Mount Gould, debates that have been fuelled a recurring error that has seen the area represented on maps and official documents as Mount Gold. Ordnance Survey maps between 1863-1893 recorded it as Mount Gold; Council minutes of 1888 used both spellings; in the 1930s and 1940s the ‘Gold’ spelling was used on street signs and busses … “but whatever the mode of spelling, local people have always pronounced it as Mount Goold (Doreen Mole – Brief History of Plymouth Hospitals).” And so they should, as the area was named some 350 years ago after Colonel William Gould.
A Devonian, and at the time of his death, in 1644, Governor of Plymouth, Gould was “a noble and valiant gentleman’ and was a hero of the Parliamentarian defence of Plymouth at the celebrated Sabbath Day Fight around Freedom Fields on 3rd December 1643. During the battle, in which he directed the local troops, Gould had one horse killed from under him and another one wounded, and was, himself, injured. Although the Royalist attack was successfully repelled on that occasion, the area was still regarded as being vulnerable and when a new redoubt was created to defend that point it was named Mount Gould in his honour. Since then the area that the name applies to has increased and for the most part the spelling has been true to the Colonel.