Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 05, 2016.
Webpage updated: April 11, 2016

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Terminus in Fore Street of the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Tramway.

The lines of the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Tramway
can be seen in Chapel Street, Fore Street and Saint Aubyn Street.
From Ordnance Survey sheet CXXIII.7 surveyed in 1892/3.

The oldest of the tramway companies that served Devonport was the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Tramways Company, which was founded in 1870 under the Tramways Act 1870.

It laid a line of 4 feet 8 inch gauge track fro the Plymouth Clock Tower (Derry's Clock) through Union Street, Edgcumbe Street, across Stonehouse Bridge, up Devonport Hill and along Cumberland Street to a terminus at the bottom of Ker Street, where it joined both Cumberland Street and George Street.  It was 1 mile 74 chains in length.  Trial trips, with passengers getting a free ride on the horse-drawn tramcars, were run on Sunday March 17th 1872 and the full service started the following day.  In that same year the Company became a subsidiary of the Provincial Tramways Company Ltd of Portsmouth.  The twelve tramcars and 116 horses were kept in a depot and stables in Manor Lane, East Stonehouse.

In 1874 the line was extended from Cumberland Street up Chapel Street to a new terminus in Fore Street and back down Saint Aubyn Street, which increased the length of the line to 2 miles.

There were big changes in 1901, when the Company sold the track in Plymouth and Devonport to their respective Corporations and leased back for 21 years.  The line was also re-laid to 3 feet 6 inch gauge and electrified.  The fifteen electric tramcar fleet, which were painted in light green and cream and excluded number 13, were kept in a new depot in Market Street, East Stonehouse.  The electric service started on Monday November 18th 1901 and the route in Devonport was changed to inwards via Saint Aubyn Street and outward via Chapel Street so that the tracks and wires did not cross at Cumberland Road.

Only one service was operated, from Fore Street to Plymouth Clock Tower.

When the 21-year leases expired on Saturday July 1st 1922 Plymouth Corporation took over the line and linked it with their own and that of the Devonport and District Tramways Company, which they had taken over on Saturday October 2nd 1915 following the amalgamation of the Three Towns in 1914.