Volunteer Inn (Crabtree)

Referencing regiments of men who voluntarily offer themselves for military service,
the Volunteer Inn at Crabtree was one of a number of nineteenth century ‘Volunteers’ locally, there was also one in each of the Three Towns (Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport) and another at Elburton. All of them now gone (although there is still a Volunteer Inn in Yealmpton).

The Crabtree Volunteer appears to have opened under Thomas Coombes in the mid-nineteenth century and was apparently carried on by his daughters, Eleanor and Mary, until the early twentieth century. Charles Brooks is the last licensee we have record of, and it would seem that around the time of the First World War the building ceased to operate as a pub. However it remained standing (opposite the Rising Sun and adjacent to the Woodview Café) for many years and was known as Volunteer House until its demolition (for road widening) in the 1970s.


1873 - Thomas Coombes
1885 - Eleanor and Mary Coombes
1893 - Mary Coombes
1906 - Charles Brooks