Railway Inn (Eldad)

It can’t be a coincidence that the celebrated Great Western Railway engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel wanted to locate his railway station for the Three Towns, Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport, at Eldad, on the southern side of Stonehouse Creek in the Five Fields area and that around the same time John Gilhen opened a pub called the Railway Inn just a matter of a hundred yards or so up from the Millbridge crossing Stonehouse Creek, on Eldad Hill.

In the event the Railway Station was built at Millbay and after some twenty years Gilhen abandoned his licensed trading and ran the Stoke Road premises just as a shop. He was still running the shop in 1877 when North Road Station was built, not all that far from where Brunel had original envisaged his station and one wonders if John Gilhen ever thought to himself – ‘if only that had been the location in the first place.’