London Inn

Prior to the age of the train and long before the motor car arrived on the scene, the most convenient way to get to London other than by boat, was by coach and horses, and at six o’clock, and eight o’clock every morning – apart from Sundays – ‘The Royal Devonshire Cheap Coach’ with six horses would set out from the London Inn, in Fore Street, Dock (as Devonport was then known). The golden age of the coach was from the late-eighteenth-century through to the mid-nineteenth-century when the train terminated the industry almost overnight.

It didn’t do much for the London Inn either, apparently, for, around 1850, the year after the railway arrived at Millbay, Robert Townshend, whose family had been licensees of the London for some thirty years, closed the old place and moved across the road into the slightly larger Weakley’s Hotel, which he re-styled the London. For whatever reason however the move appears not to have been successful and within ten years it too had closed for good. Meanwhile the more modest London Inn Tap, backing on to the old London and fronting Princess Street, surived through to the Blitz.


1798 - J Snell or J Ralph
1812 - James Tapper
1822 - John Townshend
1847 - Robert Townshend
1850 - Thomas Townshend