Duke of Cornwall

Built to cater for the new trade generated by the arrival of the railway in Plymouth, the Duke of Cornwall Hotel actually stands on the site of an earlier licensed premises – the Saracen’s Head, a name which itself suggests a fair degree of antiquity. When the Duke was built however, and prior to the railway and the redevelopment of Millbay Docks the previous decade – the 1840s – there was not a great deal of development in this area, just a well–disposed terrace of buildings overlooking the marshy Sourpool, above Millbay, and the green fields beyond.

In the recent past Plymothians will doubtless be familiar three bars in what was the late John Betjeman’s favourite Plymouth building – The Spider’s Web, the Clan (or Tartan) Bar and the main bar. Today the first of these has been renamed the Fleur De Lys and is used mainly for functions, the Clan bar is used as a less formal dining area and the main bar still enjoys fine views over the Pavilions, constructed on the site of the former station.