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Hidden history of Royal William Yard revealed during Plymouth History Festival

Posted on: 22 May 2020

Dommoore 2014 mutants december 1338
Alex Ryley
Site Editor
History feature

Plymouth History Festival is running online this month (between 8th and 31st May), and this week’s theme is the sea. Possibly the most prominent symbol of Plymouth’s seafaring past is Royal William Yard, which once hummed with life as a British Navy victualling facility, producing an abundance of vital food, drink and supplies.

Known now as a much-loved waterfront destination, the Yard attracts visitors in their droves. Its bustling restaurants, bars and shops echo the location’s proud past, reminiscent of when it was a hive of activity, keeping our naval fleet afloat for over a century after its construction in 1825.

Royal William Yard is one of the most important groups of historic military buildings in Britain and the largest collection of Grade I Listed military buildings in Europe. And while much of the Yard’s history is public knowledge, there are many lesser known facts about its intriguing and proud past!

This month, the team at Royal William Yard are sharing more of the Yard’s secret history online. Each Thursday there is a history quiz on Facebook; a children’s history activity pack is available from here; a history brochure is downloadable from here; and there is even a recipe for the Yard’s famous sea biscuits coming to social media.

Hailey Cattle, Regional Marketing Manager for Urban Splash, said, “Royal William Yard has undergone a huge transformation, from feats of engineering to build a bustling victualling yard, to falling derelict and into disrepair, then to be rescued and redeveloped into the place we know and love. We have a fascinating and proud history, which we are pleased to share.

“This month we’re marking Plymouth History Festival online and celebrating our past with some fun and creative history challenges and information. We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to the Yard again soon; this is a place unlike any other, where the past and present are woven together and there is always something new to experience and discover.”

Activity & colouring sheet downloads