Essential Restoration brings Plymouth’s Elizabethan House back to Life!

Published: 17th March 2021

One of the latest projects completed by our Staffordshire team, is the full renovation of the historic Elizabethan House in Plymouth. The property was built just before 1600 as a home to merchants and businessmen who wanted to work and sleep by the bustling harbour. In the Victorian period, the property housed up to 58 people at a time before being rescued from demolition and opened as a historic museum in 1930. The Messenger team have been working on the project for the past nearly 18 months to create an immersive visitor experience for the Mayflower 400 anniversary. The house is set to be one of the key legacy projects for Britain’s Ocean City!

To conserve for the future and bring the Grade II* property back to life, the house has been undergoing essential restoration since 2017. The team have completed the £1.3m renovation over the last year and a half which included works to the main house and gardens.

Works included:

  • A detailed structural investigation to assess the condition of the property.
  • Repair work to the external structure and oak timbers.
  • A programme of works to strengthen the floors and foundations.
  • Adding a two-storey extension at the rear to provide additional space and support the deteriorated rear wall of the property.
  • An archaeological survey of the site and items such as glass, ceramics, marbles and animal bones uncovered.
  • Reconstruction of the tiered garden and boundary wall.
  • Authentic decoration of the rooms.
  • Development of the interpretation to create an immersive experience, transporting visitors through time.

Visitors can expect to see how a merchant or sea captain might have lived in the 1600s – if you pause near the spiral staircase you can see graffiti from visitors of that time (or see them in the photo gallery below)! 

The restoration of the Elizabethan House has been supported by Plymouth City Council, Mayflower 400, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Coastal Revival Fund, Historic England and The Pilgrim Trust.

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