Steam Packet

Not surprisingly as each town had its own access to the water, each of the Three Towns, Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport, also had its own Steam Packet Inn. Of the three only the Devonport inn survives, overlooking the landing jetty at North Corner, at the bottom of Cornwall Street.

The term packet is a familiar enough one to us, particularly at a time when the Post Office has plenty of packets and parcels to handle. The nineteenth century “steam packet” was a steam-powered boat that made regular trips between set ports, generally for the “conveyance of mails, goods and passengers”.

The picture here (featured in Alan Kitteridge’s excellent “Steamers and Ferries of the River Tamar and Three Towns District”) was taken sometime after the golden era of the steam packet, and a few years after the demolition of the Steam Packet Inn of Newport Street, Stonehouse. The pub stood a few doors down from the erstwhile Commercial Inn (with the dormer windows), on a site that is now all part of the Marine Projects complex.


1865 - William Chaffe
1873 - John Baker
1878 - Elizabeth Baker
1895 - Mary Evans
1901 - Charles Burnard
1928 - Samuel Burnard