Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Devonport
DEVONPORT, a municipal and parliamentary borough of England, in the county of Devon, contiguous to the towns of East Stonehouse and Plymouth, the seat of one of the royal dockyards, and an important naval and military station. It is situated immediately above Ply mouth Sound, occupying a triangular peninsula formed by Stonehouse Pool on the east and the Hamoaze on the west. The town proper is inclosed by a line of ramparts 12 feat
high, protected by a ditch of about 15 feet in depth, excavated out of the solid limestone. Three gates the Stonehouse gate, the Stoke barrier, and the North barrier afford communication respectively with East. Stonehouse, Stoke, and Morice Town, the last two being suburbs of Devonport. The streets are laid out with regularity, and are paved with a peculiarly white limestone that gives an air of great cleanliness to the town. A copious supply of water is provided by means of a conduit from Dartmoor. The public buildings are both handsome and numerous. The town hall, erected in 1821-22 partly after the design of the Parthenon, is distinguished by an elegant Doric portico ; while near it are the public library, in the Egyptian style of architecture, and a conspicuous column or Do r ic pillar built of Devonshire granite. This monument, which is 100 feet high, was raised in commemoration of the naming of the town in 1824. There are numerous churches belonging to the different religious denominations. Besides the parish church, which is small, several chapels of ease have within the present century been erected in various parts of the town. One of them, a handsome edifice built in 1814-15 at a cost of 24,000, is situated in the dockyards, and was erected for the special use of those employed there. Of the Government buildings the principal are a spacious hospital outside the barriers, the Raglan barracks, and the residences of the military and naval chief officers. On Mount Wise, which is defended by a battery, stands the military residence, or Government house, which is occupied by the commander of the western district ; and near at hand is the other residence, the port admiral s house. Mount Wise itself and the parade form interesting features of the place, and tend greatly to the amenity of the town the prospect from the former being one of the finest in the south of England. The most noteworthy object, however, in connection with Devonport is the royal dockyard, which extends along the shore of the Hamoaze from Mutton Cove to Keyham Lake, a distance of about If miles. The naval dockyard, which formed the nucleus of the town, is situated within the ramparts, and covers an area of 75 acres, with a wharfage of 1160 yards ; while beyond the ramparts, and higher up the Hamoaze, is the more recently constructed Keyham steam yard, connected with the former by means of a tunnel 900 yards long. Keyham steam yard occupies an area of 100 acres ; and its docks are built of granite. In connection with the dockyards are the gun wharf, and extensive store-houses and factories. The number of hands employed in the works is very large, varying from 3000 to 4000, according to circumstances ; and it may be said that, with the exception of a brewery in the suburb of Morice Town, the only manufactory of the place is that belonging to the Government. The history of Devonport is of comparatively recent date. After the outbreak of war with France in 1689 William III. established an arsenal there in connection with the neigh bouring naval station of Plymouth, and it received the name of Plymouth Dock. Its proportions were, however, somewhat limited until in 1761 and in 1771 extensive additions were made, and since then it has steadily in creased in importance. In 1824 it received its present distinctive name, and by the Reform Act of 1832 it was erected into an independent borough returning 2 members to Parliament. The municipal borough, which is co-exten sive with the parish of Stoke-Damerel, is subdivided into 6 wards, and covers an area of 1760 acres; while the area of the parliamentary borough, which includes East Stone- house, extends to 1950 acres. The town is governed by a mayor, 12 aldermen, and 35 councillors, and has a separ ate commission of the peace. The ground on which Devon- port stands is for the most part the property of the St Aubyn family, whose steward holds a court leet and a court baron annually. The population of the municipal borough was, in 1851, 38,180; in 1861, 50,440; and in 1871, 49,449 the males being slightly more numerous than the females. The population ot the parliamentary borough in 1871 was 64,034. See PLYMOUTH and DOCKYAKDS.