Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 26, 2019
Webpage updated: September 26, 2019




The Victoria Wharves, Plymouth, are located on what was formerly Marshall's ship breaking yard and Marine Field, both of which were acquired in the 1890s by Mr Cornelius Laskey Duke, a local contractor.  When purchased, the site amounted to 4 acres. 

To the west of it was a Corporation wharf and to the east was the cement works of Messrs Caldwell and Almond.

Victoria Wharves, Plymouth, 1914

Mr Duke built the Victoria Pier 100 feet out in to the Cattewater and created a deep water basin to its east with a wharfage of 250 feet on one side and 350 feet on the pier side.  It had a depth of 25 feet.   Originally it was planned to make the Pier 300 feet long but the Cattewater Commissioners objected that it would obstruct passage in the Cattewater.  On the western side of the Pier was a smaller, shallow basin.  The whole scheme was designed by Mr H Victor Prigg.

Included in the acquisition was the Marine Hotel and a number of houses and cottages.  One of these was to be demolished to make a wider access road from the end of Commercial Road.

Rail access was to be provided by constructing a new line from the London and South Western Railway Company's existing Cattewater Branch at Messrs Harvey's Chemical Works but initially a temporary connection was laid in from the cement works.

The part containing the deep water basin was leased to Messrs Chatterley and Whitfeld Colliery Company and was officially opened by Mr T Bulteel, chairman of the Cattewater Commissioners, on Monday March 7th 1898.  A depot for distributing coal brought in by the Company's steamers was to be erected.