Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 10, 2016
Webpage updated: April 20, 2021

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William Street, Morice Town, in the early twentieth century.
From a postcard.

William Street ran from Ferry Road northwards to Tamar Road on the western side and Albert Road (formerly Navy Row) on the eastern side.  The Street was closed off in February 1960 prior to the site being absorbed into the Royal Dockyard.

Another view northwards along William Street: the Dockyard Tower can be seen in the distance.
Note the Morice Town Wine and Spirit Vaults on the right, behind the lady with a perambulator.
Courtesy of Plymouth Library Service.

In 1914 numbers 1 to 18 were on the west side starting at Ferry Road and ending at the corner of Tamar Road, with numbers 19 to 40 returning from Albert Road on the eastern side.

The principal building in William Street were the sub-post office at number 10 and the Morice Town Picture Palace at number 32.


William Street, Morice Town, looking north towards the Keyham Steam Yard gate, August 1959.
The Steam Reserve Public House was clearly a combination of two properties.
City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

There were a number of licensed landmarks: the Steam Reserve Public House at number 6; the Prince Arthur Inn at number 18 on the corner with Tamar Road; the Duke of Wellington Inn (23), the Royal Alfred Hotel (28), the Royal Standard Inn (38) and the Morice Town Wine and Spirit Vaults at number 40, opposite Ferry Road.

Numbers 25 to 28 William Street, the premises nearest the camera being the Royal Alfred Public House.
City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

A  close-up of number 25 William Street, where Messrs Owen J Carter and Company Limited were wine and spirit merchants, October 1952.
Messrs C A and W Goodbody Limited had the shop on the right while just visible two doors away to the left was the Duke of Cornwall Hotel.
City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

Number 40 William Street, the Morice Town Wine and Spirit Vaults, September 1959.
The "Keep Left" bollard appears in the picture of Ferry Road.
City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

Among the many trades represented in William Street were four refreshment houses or dining rooms; two watchmakers; and three newsagents, Mr F L Paul, Mr R Pengelly, and Mr W Congdon.  But William Street was most widely known for being the home of naval outfitters and in 1914 this included Mr B Joseph (number12); Messrs Greenburgh Brothers (15); and Mr B Baun (17).  One unusual retailer was Mr H F Serpell, chocolate stores (34).

The Plymouth Co-operative Society had two shops at numbers 19 and 31 , both on the eastern side of William Street. 

Tram routes 3, 8 and 10, all of which terminated in Morice Square, passed through William Street on their way to Plymouth via Saint Levan Road and Peverell; Saint Budeaux Square and Plymouth via Saint Levan Road and Alma Road respectively.