Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 13, 2017
Webpage updated: December 29, 2018

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Cumberland Street is a continuation of Cumberland Road, the principle access road into Devonport from Stonehouse Bridge and Plymouth, from where it ran westwards as far as the Devonport Market, after which it became Tavistock Street.

Cumberland Street, Devonport, 1942.
National Monuments Record (RCHM(E)).

The Street is named in honour of HRH the Prince William Augustus KG KB FRS, who was created Duke of Cumberland in 1726 and achieved national fame for beating the Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.  He died in 1765.

Until around the 1890s the principle buildings were the Theatre Royal, or Devonport Theatre, at Number 2, and the Crown Hotel at Number 5, on the corner with George Street.  When they were demolished the ground was laid out as gardens, officially Cumberland Lawn, unofficially Anstey's Garden, in reference to Alderman E S Anstey who was responsible for the improvement of that area.  He once complained that the public were being restricted from entering the Gardens.

Amongst the trades represented in Cumberland Street were grocers, chemists, tobacconists, hairdressers, fish and chip merchants, poulterers, pork butchers, fruit and  greengrocers, butchers, two restaurants, fish dealers, furniture broker, wardrobe dealer, upholsterer, and Messrs Clarke and Sons, booksellers.  The principle Licenses Landmarks were the Lord Beresford, the Spread Eagle and the Exeter Arms.  The eastern part of Devonport Market was in Cumberland Street and the western part in Tavistock Street.

Unbelievably, before the Second World War Cumberland Street was part of the main A38 trunk road from Exeter to the Torpoint Ferry!