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“A taste of Elizabethan Plymouth”

Elizabethan Gardens
Ranked #39 of 170 things to do in Plymouth
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
340 reviews
198 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 781 helpful votes
“A taste of Elizabethan Plymouth”
Reviewed October 10, 2012

The Elizabethan House is to be found up a tiny alleyway in the heart of the Barbican, number 32 on New Street. It is in beautiful condition externally, with its exposed timbers and beams, but I was disappointed to find it closed for viewing on the day of my visit.

It was originally the home of a Tudor sea captain and contains authentic furniture of the period. It is reputed to have at least one ghost that haunts the upper floor. The house is open from April 1 to November 1, but is closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays. I will make certain to visit the house again during the summer and post a full report.

Behind the house in New Street, along another tiny alley, are the Elizabethan Gardens.

New Street is first mentioned in 1584. The houses were built for wealthy merchants, with pleasant gardens to the rear. Over the centuries, the tradesmen built tiny cottages for their workers over the top of the gardens. In the 19h century, Plymouth was growing quickly; the old town became so overcrowded that it drove the well-heeled out of New Street and into the new villas on the hills above the town. Their old homes rapidly deteriorated into appalling slums.

After World War II, the city was desperately trying to replace all the homes lost in the bombing, but many of the old places in the Barbican area were declared unfit to live in. In 1956, the government introduced a scheme whereby local authorities were to be paid for every slum demolished. Plymouth council promptly proposed to knock down a large area of the Barbican, saving just 32 New St. (The Elizabethan House).

Uproar followed at such a dramatic scheme and the Plymouth Barbican Association was formed and accepted the council’s challenge to buy and restore all the houses of historic value.

Therefore, on New Street, the historic dwellings were restored, the old back tenements ripped away, and the old gardens that had lain beneath them for so long were also restored to resembling their possible original appearance.

Visited August 2012
9 Thank GBfromDevizes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A peaceful, secret garden”
Reviewed September 3, 2012

I just love the Elizabethan Gardens. It's like a secret garden in the middle of the Barbican. Beautiful flowers and really interesting architecture. Great for taking photos, having a picnic and relaxing. It's always quiet (I suppose because so few people know it's actually there) which is great because it means you can get away from it all.

Visited June 2012
6 Thank Samantha B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
385 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,320 helpful votes
“Wrong address!”
Reviewed July 18, 2012

As at 18 July 12 the address on this listing is the wrong road. The entrance is in New Street. There is another hate in from the road above, somewhere near the Fisherman's Arms pub restaurant.That said this is a delightful medium sized sheltered formal garden enclosed and sheltered from the wind and mostly made up of limestone and herby plants. Works very well and worth a quick look. You may even wish to linger. As said by others it is also free and I think open from dawn till dusk, certainly at least breakfast till tea time.

Visited July 2012
5 Thank DougalM_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merthyr Tydfil
Level Contributor
334 reviews
259 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 231 helpful votes
“Just up road from Elizabethan House”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

Lovely small garden on land that would previously be covered in slum houses. very peaceful lots of birds and free of charge. We visited here when we waiting for the Elizabethan house to open - lovely fountain, worth a visit.

Visited July 2012
7 Thank Rainbirds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
381 reviews
136 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,329 helpful votes
“Find the photos on your search engine.”
Reviewed July 4, 2012

If you look at the pics then you'll want to come. Set at the back of some very old houses and warehouses, well kept and loved, this medium sized semi-formal period garden to a good place to wander or reflect. No entrance fee. Hope someone soon puts some pics on this Tripadvisor listing.

Visited May 2012
8 Thank Cr0wM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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