Elizabethan House

Elizabethan House

The Elizabethan House is a rare surviving example of Plymouth's history. In the late 1500's the city was a prosperous, bustling port, bursting at the seams with ships and crew, foreign privateers, merchants and craftsmen.

An increased need for housing saw the development of New Street - the properties of which were built for the middle merchants and sea-captains whose livelihoods were based around the waterfront. The house was rescued from demolition and opened as a Museum in 1930. Today, visitors can see see how a merchant or sea captain might have lived in the 1600s.

Visit website

  • The Kitchen at the Elizabethan House

    This room contains recreated cooking and eating wares, food and furniture. The items were selected using archaeological finds and archival documents. Most notably, an inventory of the estate of a merchant who lived during the same period as the first owner of the house.

  • The Front Parlour at the Elizabethan House

    This room contains several pieces of 17th century furniture, primarily made of oak, including a table and chairs, chest and side table on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and, from the Museum's own collections, a side table, writing desk and ornate bible box.

  • The Gardens at the Elizabethan House

    The gardens at the Elizabethan House include lavender, sweet woodruff and thyme, which were favoured by 17th century gardeners for their perfume and beauty. They also include raised beds filled with 17th century fruits, herbs and vegetables.

  • The Inglenook Fireplace at the Elizabethan House

    The large inglenook fireplace in the kitchen at the Elizabethan House has a Dartmoor granite-edged hearth and pebble paving.

  • An authentic experience

    The Elizabethan House has a real feeling of history. Although the original owner of the house is unknown, we do know that by 1613 it belonged to Borough Treasurer, Richard Brendan. From 1850 the house became heavily crowded - in the 1891 census there are 58 recorded occupants!

Admission & prices

The Elizabethan House is currently closed for essential restoration work.

Confirmed details/dates for its reopening will be posted on the Devon Museums website as soon as they become available.

Find us


  • Childrens activities

Elizabethan House
32 New Street
The Barbican

T: 01752 304774
E: museum@plymouth.gov.uk

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Elizabethan House

Elizabethan House
32 New Street
The Barbican

Plymouth, DEVON PL1 2NA