Webpage created: February 21, 2016.
Webpage updated: March 30, 2017
The original Admiralty House of 1795, with the
Chinese Bell on the front lawn.
Admiralty House was built at Mount Wise, overlooking Plymouth Sound, in 1795 under the orders of the Duke of Richmond, Master-General of the Ordnance. It was the private residence of the Port-Admiral, later Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth Command, whose offices were nearby.
The First Lord of the Admiralty, the Right Honourable The Earl of Auckland, dined at Admiralty House with the Port-Admiral, Admiral Sir John West, on the evening before he laid the foundation stone of the Keyham Steam Yard.
On the lawn in front of Admiralty House used to stand a huge iron Chinese Bell, said to weigh 19 hundredweight (cwt). It was presented to the then Commander-in-Chief, Sir Edward H Seymour GCB OM, in July 1903 by the crew of the Royal Navy cruiser HMS "Pique", who had discovered it in an ancient temple or pagoda in Shan-hai-kwan. The Bell was subsequently moved to the lawn at the rear but has now been removed altogether.
In 1935 the more modern Government House became available and the then Commander-in-Chief moved to that property and renamed it Admiralty House. As a result its new owners, the War Department renamed it Hamoaze House, the name by which it is known today. It is a Grade II listed building.