Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 23, 2018
Webpage updated: June 26, 2018




Pearl Assurance House, on the northern side of Royal Parade between Armada Way and Courtenay Street, was the local office of the Pearl Assurance Company Limited, which was founded in Whitechapel, London, in 1857. The entrance to their offices was at Number 50 Royal Parade, over which the Company crest was displayed.

Work started on the building in August 1950 but was held up by heavy rain.  Water had been found in a fissure of the rock upon which the foundations were being laid and the fissure had to be filled in and bridged with reinforced concrete.

The Foundation Stone was laid in the partly finished building on Tuesday October 16th 1951.  The chairman of the Company, Mr G R L Tilley, performed the ceremony in the presence of the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Plymouth, Alderman and Mrs Randolph Baker.  Prior to laying the stone the chairman was presented with a trowel and mallet by Mr Alec F French, the architect, and Mr A E Malbon, the contractor.  Copies of the day's newspapers, coins of the realm and other souvenirs were placed in a canister beneath the Stone.  Along with the seventy or so invited guests, the group afterwards dispersed to the Grand Hotel for refreshments.

Pearl Assurance House was officially opened on January 9th 1953 and was occupied in that year by the following bodies:

  • Messrs Westwell Jewel Company Limited, jewellers;
  • Customs and Excise Office, Waterguard Superintendent, Chief Preventive Officer, and Surveyor;
  • Her Majesty's Inland Revenue Department;
  • Her Majesty's Inland Revenue Valuation Office;
  • Her Majesty's Inland Revenue, Chief Collector of Taxes office;
  • Ministry of Supply (South Western Region);
  • Board of Trade (South Western Region);
  • Ministry of Labour and National Service Medical Board Centre;
  • Ministry of National Insurance;
  • Ministry of Pensions, Welfare services;
  • Plymouth County Court Offices;
  • District Registry of the High Court of Justice, Bankruptcy and Admiralty;
  • Ordnance Survey Field Office;
  • National Savings District Office.