The New Pier Inn (aka Little Mutton Monster)

Immediately prior to its closure in 1995 the building shown below was known as the Little Mutton Monster public house; it was located at 240 James Street, Devonport.

Above: The Little Mutton Monster in derelict condition at 2002, viewed from across the playing field of Mount Wise Primary School.


The pub was known to have existed at least a century ago, in 1914, although it was possibly built earlier since that was the year World War One began. Local Directories for 1914 show Albert Robert Fletcher as the landlord with the name of the pub being New Pier Spirit Vaults. The address then was 63 James Street.

Following World War Two the pub became known as the New Pier Inn; it may have been known as this prior to WW2, since the exact date of the name change is unknown.

1970s and early 1980s. Popular with Naval Personnel

During this period the New Pier Inn was a popular lunch-time meeting place for naval and military personnel who worked at nearby Admiralty House and Hamoaze House.

Such was the pub's popularity that in 1984 planning permission was submitted for the addition of a conservatory.
Application. No. 84/02338/FUL
Site Address: The New Pier Inn 240 James Street, Devonport, PL1 4LA
Description: Alterations to public house and erection of conservatory.
Received Date: 12/06/84
Decision Date: 23/07/84

Late 1980s early 1990s

It is believed the name change, to The Little Mutton Monster, took place around the late 1980s early 90s, however, it appears to have been unofficial, that is, the new name does not seem to have been recorded or documented anywhere. The earlier name of the New Pier Inn is found on all planning applications right up to the time of the building's demolition.

By the late 1980s early 1990s the Royal Navy and Royal Marines had retreated from both Admiralty House and Hamoaze House (plus the nearby naval married quarters upon Mount Wise hilltop were no longer in existence), and the pub, along with several other Devonport pubs of the period, became used less and less by service personnel. Consequently the type of customer changed.

1994-1995. The Last Gig

One of the last gigs, probably the last gig, to take place at the pub was a live performance by the band "Viv & The Sections" on 27th December 1994. Members of the group were: Dave Ahern on guitar & vocals, Paddy Morrissey on harmonica & vocals, John Lang on guitar, Roger Cornall on drums, Paul Smith on percussion and Chris Constantinou on bass. The group placed a short video of themselves on YouTube.

Early in 1995 the pub closed its doors for the last time.The owner at time of closure was believed to have been Charles Barratt. 1995 was a period in history when Devonport was blighted, run-down and suffering from youth problems, crime and vandalism. Therefore it was no surprise to observe, now that the pub was closed for good, that it had been attacked by vandals, and set afire several times with emergency services being called out. It became a derelict eyesore. It remained in a decayed and delapidated condition from the time of its closure in 1995 until its demolition in 2004.

2001. New Owner

After half a dozen years of existing in a derelict condition a new owner, Mike Timmins, eventually purchased the property in October 2001; he had to negotiate a parcel of land at the back of the building with the Ministry of Defence. (the MoD have a standing claim, should they require, to six foot of land abutting the entire length of the dockyard wall)

Mike Timmins bought the plot as an investment, then applied to the council to redevelop and build three new houses on the site. At his first application Timmins was turned down since, at that stage, the city council wanted the pub building to remain, but once vandals started to ruin the empty structure they eventually reconsidered.

September 2002

After one year of ownership Mike Timmins submitted another planning application to demolish the New Pier Inn and replace it with three new houses.

In sept 2002 the application was posted under the name of The New Pier Inn

Application Number: 02/01517/FUL
Applicant Name: Mr M Timmins, 203 Elburton Road Plymouth PL9 9HX
Description: Redevelopment of the site by the erection of three, three storey, dwellings with integral garages
Received Date: 23/09/02
Decision Date: 14/03/03
Decision: Grant Conditionally
Decision Date: 14 March 2003


March. Planning permission granted to demolish the building and redevelop the site.
May. The New Pier Inn is offered up at Auction, at a guide price of £40k +, together with planning permission for a terrace of three 2-bed townhouses.

September 2004. Demolition

Having stood derelict for almost ten years the building was finally demolished.

2012. The Plot Redeveloped

Following 2004 demolition the plot remained empty until 2012, occupied occasionally by a temporary Glass Recycling Bank.

Build restarted - above is a Google image of build in progress, late 2012.

Above. Amost complete, the plot by April 2013

2013. Open Day for the New Homes

Completed. The sales Open-Day took place mid-May 2013. Guide price £135,000 - £145,000.

(page added May 2013)