Shipwright’s Arms (Turnchapel)

William Rowe was the licensee of the Shipwrights Arms for most of the 1930s and the lady standing outside this modest, erstwhile, Turnchapel public house in Boringdon Road, was his wife.

There weren’t a lot of Heavitree Ales pubs in Plymouth at that time, but, of course Turnchapel wasn’t part of the city back then. Rather it was part of what had long been a thriving independent community and one that, in its day, had supported its own shipyard – indeed ships that fought in the Armada were refitted here.

The Shipwrights’ Arms was the nearest of the three Turnchapel pubs to the yard and “when ships were being built in the dock closest to the village the bowsprit would overhang the road opposite the pub” (Cripsin Gill – Plymouth River 1997).

Open well into the 1970s, the eventual closure of the Shipwrights was a reflection of the changing fortunes of the village, and followed the demise of the railway link at the beginning of the 1950s and the end of the ferry service a decade later.


1870 - John Frood
1889 - John Hobbs
1902 - Frederick Woodley
1906 - George Woodley
1932 - William Rowe
1939 - George Bryan
1951 - William Tucker
1955 - Frederick Mitcheson
1961 - Leslie Purdie