Shakespeare Hotel

The Shakespeare Hotel is a public house located at Theatre ope, Devonport. PL1 4HT. The image above was taken in 2002.

Built c1870-80, the building was listed by English Heritage as Grade II, on 9 November 1998. The exterior is described by Pevsner [1] as follows:

Public house. c1870-80. Stucco; slate or asbestos slate hipped roof behind heavily-moulded parapet entablature; stuccoed lateral stack with moulded cornice near centre of front. Shallow double-depth plan with entrance to splayed corner. 3 storeys; 2:1:4-window 1st-floor range including left-hand return. Late C19 4-pane horned sashes; channelled rustication and segmental arches to ground floor (right) string above; moulded 1st-floor architraves with tall keys rising to moulded hoods; simpler 2nd-floor architraves with rounded upper corners and sill brackets. Corner shopfront has full-width moulded entablature over 1:1:2:1 bays divided by pilasters; there are doorways with overlights and panelled doors to 2nd from left and to right-hand bays; the shop windows are transomed and have margin lights over panelled stall risers. [See Pevsner for full description)

Shakespeare Charity Events

The landlord and regulars of this pub hold charity events every year; [2]
  • In July 2004, 21 persons from the pub walked 18 miles in aid of cancer, raising more than £2,200. They walked around Kingsand, Cawsand, Rame Head, Whitsand Bay, then back to Torpoint Via Antony. The funds went to St Lukes Macmillan fund.
  • Later in November 2004 another event took place, also in aid of St Lukes; this was a set of eight races sponsored by local businesses, which raised £525.
  • In March 2005 a race night was held, together with raffles and refreshements, also for St Lukes cancer relief.
  • In 2006 a summer charity event raised £460; this went to the Marie Curie fund.
  • In recognition of their fund-raising efforts the pub won the regional fund-raising category of Avebury Taverns 'pub of the year' award in 2005. The pub has continued to hold simlar events every year, with regular articles in the local newspaper and details of the amount raised.


    The Shakespeare, like all the remaining pubs in Devonport, offers a traditional type of service. Home cooked food is served in the mid-day period and between 7pm – 8pm evenings. There is a big television screen showing Sky Sports including Premiership football. A wide range of beers /spirits / wines is served. And for Plymouth Albion Rugby Club supporters this is the nearest place of refreshment. The telephone number at 2011 is 01752 558061.

    A photo of the menu at 2001 - it may be very different now, at 2011.

    Lenkiewicz Painting

    The customer at the bar in this late 2001 photo is John Trayno (sp. Traynor?). He is from Scotland but has lived in Devonport since 1937. But look what is on the wall in the background. It's an original, and very large, painting by Robert Lenkiewicz, titled 'The Alchemist'.

    The Alchemist was sold a few months after this photo was taken; a local collector bought bought it for £18,000 at the auction on 30 April 2002, held at Rendells of Ashburton.

    Handmade Bar

    When I took these photos the barman told me the bar, which I'd remarked on, was recently made by someone called Trigg (he wasn't sure of the spelling). Mr Trigg rebuilt the whole bar area of The Shakespeare sometime during the 1990s. He certainly kept it within the Shakespearian theme; the wooden panelling, bottom picture, is very nice. (I wonder if Mr Trig re-used some panels that were there earlier as they didn't look new to me? If any reader has been a long-time customer of The Shakespeare perhaps they could confirm whether these bar-panels were previously in-situ? Were they there in the 70s, the 80s, do you know?)

    [1] Pevsner and Cherry. Pevsner Architectural Guides: Devon (Buildings of England) 1952
    [2] Articles various from Plymouth local newspaper The Herald.

    Page added 27 December 2011