Webpage created: June 23, 2018
Webpage updated: January 23, 2022
Reputedly 150ft wide and built at a cost of £180,000. It was originally planned to have a roundabout at the junction with Armada Way but that proposal was dropped by the time road construction started on August 4th 1947.
Royal Parade was opened in two portions, the western end, from Courtenay Street to Westwell Street by His Majesty King George VI on October 29th 1947 and from there to Saint Andrew's Cross, including Derry's Cross roundabout at the western end, at 9.15am on September 27th 1948, which was considered the official opening date. The Lord Mayor, Alderman H J Perry removed the "Road Closed" signs and drove through in the official car. The flagpole in the centre of Derry's Cross came from Rooker's Garden in the Guildhall Square.
Royal Parade in the late 1940s, probably 1948,
An amendment to the Plan for Plymouth authorised the elimination of the roundabout proposed for the junction of Royal Parade and Armada Way. The City Engineer was authorised by Council minute 4567 on August 2nd 1947 'to proceed forthwith with the construction of the east/west road (ie Royal Parade), and with the layout of the road junction of the east/west and north/south axis'.
Council minute number 5110 on September 15th 1947 stated that the demolition of the Municipal Offices would be required 'at an early date' and the Council resolved to demolish them at their meeting on October 20th 1947.
Work on the demolition of the Municipal Offices was in progress and the Council minute number 414 on September 17th 1947 reported that the City Engineer had requested the removal of the City flag pole from Rooker's Garden, Guildhall Square.
Council minute number 967 of er 15th 1947 reported that the Ministry of Transport had agreed to the flag pole being re-erected at Derry's Cross at the western end of Royal Parade.
The first fatal accident in Royal Parade occurred on January 1st 1951 when Mrs Kathleen May of 19 Fairview Avenue, Laira, was in collision with a bus. She died on the way to hospital.
Royal Parade in the early 1950s, before
the bus shelter was installed opposite the Co-op.
The bus shelter that had been outside the Guildhall was moved in October 1956 down to the western end of Royal Parade, on the opposite side from the Plymouth and South Devon Co-operative Society's store.
Doctor Cezary Ikanowicz, the Polish Consul General, and Mr Bill Glanville, the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, jointly switched on the fountain in the centre of the Saint Andrew's Cross roundabout on Thursday October 23rd 1986. It symbolises the links between Plymouth and Gdynia, in Poland. The central jet of the fountain, capable of reaching a height of 30 feet, is surrounded by our smaller jets and 24 low, curving jets at the edge of the pool. The height of the jets is controlled by a "windometer", which reduces their height in the event of strong winds so that they cause no hazard to traffic. It was said that the fountain would cost £7,000 per year to run.
The first property at the eastern end, Number 2 Royal Parade, has been continuously occupied since 1953 at least by Messrs H Samuel, jewellers.
Number 4 Royal Parade was in 1953 occupied by Messrs William Bartlett Limited, complete house furnishers.
Number 6 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Henry Dodgson Limited, costumiers. Numbers 4 and 6 are now (2018) the Dreams Plymouth bed showroom.
Numbers 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, and 26 Royal Parade were not finished in 1953. Number 8 is now (2018) Lloyd's Bank; numbers 12 and 14 are now (2018) The Brass Monkey restaurant.
Number 28 Royal Parade was not finished in 1953 but was later occupied by Messrs John Yeo and Company Limited. The building, which was the western side of Bedford Way, was also number 28 New George Street. This is now (2018) occupied by TK MAXX.
Number 30 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs C H Bernard and Son Limited, outfitters.
Number 32 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Levy and Sloggett Limited, jewellers (and pawnbrokers). This is now (2018) the Plymouth Citybus shop and enquiry centre.
Number 34 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Briggs (Palm Shoes) Limited, boot and shoe dealers. This is now (2018) occupied by Foot Solutions Plymouth, foot wear and chiropodists.
Number 36 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Janus Limited, hosiers.
Number 38 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs C A and W Goodbody Limited, bakers, confectioners and caterers. This is now (2018) the Friary Mill cafe, bakers, and confectioners.
Numbers 40 to 46 Royal Parade were occupied in 1953 by Messrs E Dingle and Company Limited, departmental store, whose telephone number was Plymouth 66611. It included the showrooms of the South Western Electricity Board. It is now (2018) the House of Fraser department store.
Across the western side of Armada Way was the Pearl Assurance House, entered through the main door at Number 50 Royal Parade. Mr B Cox was their divisional manager of the Pearl Assurance Company Limited in 1953. It is now (2018) the Central Point entrance to the Unite Students' accommodation.
Number 52 Royal Parade was not occupied in 1953.
Number 54 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Hector Powe Limited, tailors.
Number 56 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Etam Limited, hosiers.
Number 58 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Fleming, Reid and Company limited, knitting wool dealers. Numbers 52, 54 56 and 58 are now (2018) the Poundland store.
Number 60 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Sodens (Regent Street) Limited, -- that's Regent Street, London, not Regent Street, Plymouth -- furriers.
Number 62 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Paige Gowns Limited, who presumably dealt in ladies' gowns. Numbers 60 and 62 are now (2018) the Savers shop.
Number 64 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Stead and Simpson Limited, boot and shoe dealers.
Number 66 Royal Parade was the kiosk to the right of the entrance door to Pearl Assurance House. This unit is no longer in use.
Number 68 Royal Parade was the middle entrance to Pearl Assurance House.
Number 70 Royal Parade was the kiosk to the left of the entrance to Pearl Assurance House and was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Albert Pengelly, tobacconist, or as Albert preferred to call it, 'tobaccnist' This unit is no longer in use.
Number 72 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Hope Brothers Limited, outfitters. It is now (2018) occupied by The Gorge, cafe.
Number 74 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Singer Sewing Machine Company Limited. It is currently (2018) empty.
Number 76 Royal parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Dufferin Trading Company Limited, hosiers.
Number 78 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Saxone Shoe Company Limited. Combined with number 76 Royal Parade, this is now (2018) occupied by Pizzahut, pizza restaurant.
Number 80 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Jay's Furnishing Stores, house furnishers. It is now (2018) occupied by Sundaes-Gelato, ice cream parlour.
Number 82 Royal Parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Willerbys, tailors. It is now (2018) occupied by the Spar convenience shop.
Number 84 Royal parade was occupied in 1953 by Messrs Barnett-Hutton Limited, costumiers. It is now (2018) occupied by Messrs William Hill, bookmakers.
The principle buildings on the southern side of Royal Parade, from Saint Andrew's Cross, are the Minster Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle; The Guildhall, the former Civic Centre, and the Theatre Royal.
One of the more modern features of Royal Parade was the underpass that formed part of Armada Way.
The unadorned northern end of the Royal Parade underpass.
Although it was extremely useful it unfortunately attracted beggars and became a public nuisance. Even attempts to improve it with murals did not make it any better.
The southern end of the underpass beneath Royal Parade.
The underpass has now been filled in and a road level crossing has been re-installed, just as it was back in the 1950s.