Victualling Office Inn

The expression ‘licensed victualler’ first appeared in print around 1824, although the requirement for having a licence to keep a victualling house dates back to Tudor times. Originally of course, victuals simply referred to ‘whatever is normally required, or may naturally be used, for consumption in order to support life’ and hence ‘food or provisions of any kind.’ It is no great surprise therefore to find that as early as the eighteenth century boxers were using the term Victualling Office to refer to the stomach. However it is quite clear here that the name was a by-product of moving of the Royal Navy’s Victualling Office in Plymouth from Lambhay Hill around to Stonehouse in the 1820s. In no time at all two local hostelries were calling themselves the Victualling Office Inn or Tavern, one here in High Street, which appears to have closed in the late 1870s and the other, which is still in business today, in Cremyll Street.


1830 - George Hillson
1844 - James Please
1852 - Elizabeth Bissett
1862 - John Kerswell Martin