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Fore Street

The attractive curve at the west end of Fore Street perhaps reflects the line of the castle moat. The variety of architectural styles here is enlivened by the colour and texture of local stone that has been incorporated into many buildings and walls. Plympton is favoured by the geological history of South-west Devon. During hundreds of millions of years volcanic eruptions have deposited lavas, now exposed in the cuttings of Plympton Hill, and coral reefs in long gone seas have been transformed into limestones streaked with red bands of volcanic ash. Pink and grey granites from Dartmoor now blend with the slates, shales and grits from numerous local quarries. Builders have used this wealth of material, together with brick and tile, timber frame and plaster, to create a pleasing variety of detail.


Old prints show that over the last two hundred years there have been some changes in Fore Street. Several houses once extended their upper stories above the pavement, and slate hangings were more widely used. The practice of facing a wall with slates to give added protection from the elements is widespread in South Devon. Perhaps this says something about our weather! There are good examples of slate hangings in Totnes and Ashburton and it is a pity that so many have gone from St. Maurice. However, Victorian and later rebuilding has generally blended happily with the old, and the western end of the Street is still dominated by the thickly wooded slopes of Plympton Covert.


Many buildings in Fore Street have changed their functions. During the last century, directories indicate that a poulterer, butcher, coal merchant, draper, tailor, milliner and wig-maker, ironmonger and several others, plied their trades in Fore Street. In 1880, among Plympton St. Maurice's five schools, there were schools for young ladies at Milton House and Beechwood Villa. Within living memory there were bakers, laundries, dairies, sweet shops, butchers, a shoemaker and a number of grocers. Families used to take their Sunday joints to one of the bakers in Fore Street to be cooked in the oven. Many old shop windows can still be seen. On the south side of Fore Street, lanes and passageways afford glimpses of cottages and distant fields. The strip gardens, typical of a mediaeval borough, run down to the Longbrook, formerly called Ballan's Brook, a corruption of Baldwin, the first lord of the manor.


In recent years there has been a ban on heavy traffic using Fore Street, but on the occasions of the Queen's Silver and Gold Jubilees, the Street was completely closed. Residents enjoyed a street party with music and dancing the length of Fore Street which had been decorated with flags and banners.

Fore St. 12
Fore St. 3
Festivities in Fore St.
Fore St. - Circa 1890
Fore St. 1
V.E. Day celebrations 1995 - 1
Q.E.2 Golden Jubilee celebration 2002 - 1
Q.E.2 Golden Jubilee celebration 2002 - 4
Q.E.2 Golden Jubilee celebration 2002 - 5
Q.E.2 Golden Jubilee celebration 2002 - 4
Sealed Knot Society marching to Castle Green
Sealed Knot Society marching in to battle
Sealed Knot Society marching in Fore St.
Q.E.2 Silver Jubilee celebration 1977- 2
Q.E.2 Silver Jubilee celebration 1977 - 3
Millenium - Fore Street
Fore St. celebration
Fore St-1902-Edward VII's Coronation
Festivities in Fore St.
Charabanc outing -Salvation Army - 1910
Charabanc outing - 1920s
Fore St. 13
Fore St. - from the East
Forrester's Arms and Old Police Station
Fore St. and Guildhall
Fore St. - Shop
Fore St. - Shop
Fore St. - New paving blocks 1
Preparation for putting cables underground
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