Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: October 08, 2022
Webpage updated: November 01, 2022

To go to the Home Page          To go to the A-Z Contents Page



Morice Gate, Morice Yard.

Morice Gate and the adjoining houses, Morice Yard.
  Property Services Agency, Department of the Environment.

A small gun wharf and storehouse had been established at Mount Wise shortly after the Dockyard came into existence but by 1717 it was inadequate.   When the Navy Board heard about plans for a new gun wharf they asked for it to be nearer the Royal Dockyard.  Land was leased from Sir Nicholas Morice in 1719 and building started in 1720.  This new Gun Wharf was partially operational by 1724 and was the responsibility of the Board of Ordnance.

The main gate, pictured above, was reached from Morice Square, Devonport, by Ordnance Street.  The gate is hung on two granite pillars bearing ornamental mortars on the tops.  The lantern over the roadway is accompanied by scrolled ironwork.  It is thought that the adjoining houses were built at the same time as the Gate.  They are certainly shown on the 1854 Ordnance Survey.  The houses are two storeyed with basements and slated roofs.  The illustration below showing the inside of Morice Gate shows the houses more fully.

View inside the Morice Gate, Morice Yard.

View of the inside of the Morice Gate showing the adjoining houses.
  Property Services Agency, Department of the Environment.

In 1855 the Board of Ordnance was disbanded and its functions handed over to the War Department.  An Army Ordnance Depot was created at Bull Point, in the parish of Saint Budeaux, which was at that time outside the Borough of Devonport.  In 1937 the Gun Wharf was transferred to the Admiralty but did not become part of the Royal Dockyard until 1941, when it was given the name of Morice Yard.

In the 1860s a new entrance to Morice Yard was built at the bottom of New Passage Hill.  It was named the "North Gate", not to be confused with the North Gate of the Keyham Steam Yard/North Yard.

The buildings inside Morice Yard included Number 2 Store (M068), Number 3 Store (M066); Number 4 Store (M070); Number 5 Store and Colour Loft (M056); Number 8 Store; Number 12 (Painted Canvas) Store (M046); Number 16 Store, The Powder House (M042; Number 17 Store (M037);  and Sail Loft Number 6 (M061).