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George Lane

George Lane was formerly called Manalyn Street. This referred to the leper hospital, dedicated to Mary Magdalene, which from 1307, until it was partly destroyed for turnpike improvements in 1770, stood on the north-east corner of George Lane and Ridgeway. There used to be houses on both sides of George Lane until about 1700 when Sir George Treby, the Lord Chief Justice of England, had Plympton House built. Completed in 1720, it is a typical Queen Anne house, but the architect responsible is unknown. The surrounding high brick walls are a striking feature, the bricks in the older section in Longcause having been made with clay from a field to the east of Longbrook Street. The entrance to the drive, in Longcause, has eighteenth century pillars with heraldic lions on top. Evidence of hooks and rings in this south side of the wall shows where animal pens were fixed when the cattle market was held in Longcause, earlier last century.


The houses at the junction of Barbican Road and George Lane are all that remain of a group of Elizabethan cottages, forming Hannaford, or Hanover Square. They were originally thatched, with latticed windows. Opposite them was the Castle Inn. In common with other local Inns in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, it was open daily from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.! On Good Friday 1867, after a prize fight on the Castle Green, a skirmish between Plympton and Plymouth youths led to a pitched battle outside the Inn. A young man was seriously injured when he, jumped out of a neighbouring cottage window to join in the fight! The Inn became a private house in 1909, and the blocked in entrance can still be seen.

George Lane
Ridgeway House - George Lane
Geroge Lane - storm damage
George Lane - after the storm of 1891
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