Webpage created: February 19, 2017.
Webpage updated: February 19, 2017
Although most of Mill Bridge and the Stonehouse Mill building were in East Stonehouse, it is included in Old Devonport because it was the second oldest means of getting between Plymouth and the Ancient Manor and Parish of Stoke Damerel.
The original Mill Bridge was built in 1525 by Sir Piers Edgcumbe partly to hold a mill which operated by water flowing into and out of the creek. Passage across the bridge was free until quite suddenly in 1807 a toll-gate was erected. This prompted the Mayor and Corporation of Plymouth to march in due state to the bridge where, with the aid of a body of carpenters, they demolished the gate and threw the timber into the water. What the Manor authorities did to assist the good folks of Plymouth is not recorded.
A legal battle ensued until an Act of Parliament confirmed the Edgcumbe's right to charge a toll and the bridge was then rebuilt. Pedestrians crossed free of toll -- the only such one in the Plymouth area. Mill Bridge, along with Stonehouse Bridge, was sold by the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and Lord Saint Levan to the General Tolls Company Ltd in February 1890 for £122,000. It was finally freed from tolls for all time on April 1st 1924. The creek which supplied the water for the mill was gradually filled in and it was made into a public park at the turn of the century.