Fonda Wine and Spirit Vaults

It stood in Barrack Street, Devonport, on the north-eastern corner of South Street and occupied the first two properties there. Barrack Street ran from the Market to the back of Raglan Barracks, and as you might imagine such a busy area, full of civilians and soldiers, meant that there were plenty of hostelries around, four or five in Barrack Street alone.

Closed for the last time in 1930, and known as the Devonport Wine and Spirit Vaults for more than twenty years, this became the Fonda in the late 1880s. Quite why the name was changed is unclear, however it is certainly quite logical. Unusual here, the word ‘Fonda’ is relatively common in Spain (it is of Arabic extraction) and it is used to describe a hotel or a pub. In North Africa similar terms with the same root appear as Fondaco and Fonduk and both describe an inn.


1864 - Walter Prattent
1867 - Thomas Warn
1873 - Charles Hawken
1880 - J Blackler
1888 - Hawken and Co
1890 - JR Wilson
1907 - L James
1912 - J Wilson
1913 - Mrs Harrison
1920 - J Holiday
1921 - John Conray
1922 - Sidney Quantick
1926 - James Lucas