OLD DEVONPORT . UK
www.olddevonport.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: May 29, 2019
Webpage updated: May 30, 2019

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THE ROYAL NAVY IN OLD DEVONPORT  |  ROYAL NAVAL BARRACKS  |  HMS "VIVID"

OFFICERS' MESS AND OFFICERS' QUARTERS

The Officers' Mess and the two blocks of Officers' Quarters in relation to the Main Gate in Saltash Road.
The Parade Ground was immediately in front of the building.
From an Ordnance Survey map of the Royal Dockyard and Royal Naval Barracks, 1912, revised to 1932.

Officer's Mess, Royal Naval Barracks.
From a postcard.

The Officers' Mess and Officers' Quarters were opened with a Grand Ball held on Friday January 23rd 1903, to which Captain H S F Niblett and the twenty-eight Officers who were resident in the old quarters issued over six hundred invitations.  The building itself was part of the 1898 Enlargement of the Naval Barracks.  The cost of erection was 80,000, to which must be added almost 20,000 for the furnishings.

As can be seen from the plan above, the central block contained the Officers' Mess, or Wardroom, along with a billiard room, a library, a smoking room, a breakfast room, one large and several small tea rooms, bathrooms, servants' quarters, and a well appointed kitchen.  At one end of the Wardroom was a music gallery.  The entrance hall, dining room, billiard room and library were all adorned with four pillars of polished Torquay marble and alabaster, while the dining room was also decorated with frescoes.  The woodwork was almost entirely of oak except for the front  of the music gallery, which was of pitchpine.

One hundred ands six Officers would be accommodated in single rooms, many more than the thirty-four who were resident in the old block.  Officers then living outside the Barracks would be moved in to the new Quarters in due course.  The old Quarters would from February 7th 1903 be used to accommodate sixty Sub-Lieutenants from Portsmouth, who were to undergo a period of instruction in the use of torpedoes aboard HMS "Dreadnought", the tender to the Torpedo School, HMS "Defiance".