Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 21, 2016.
Webpage updated: March 30, 2017

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The original Admiralty House of 1795

The original Admiralty House of 1795, with the Chinese Bell on the front lawn.
From a postcard.

Admiralty House was built at Mount Wise, overlooking Plymouth Sound, in 1795 under the orders of the Duke of Richmond, Master-General of the Ordnance.  It was the private residence of the Port-Admiral, later Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth Command, whose offices were nearby.

The First Lord of the Admiralty, the Right Honourable The Earl of Auckland, dined at Admiralty House with the Port-Admiral, Admiral Sir John West, on the evening before he laid the foundation stone of the Keyham Steam Yard.

On the lawn in front of Admiralty House used to stand a huge iron Chinese Bell, said to weigh 19 hundredweight (cwt).  It was presented to the then Commander-in-Chief, Sir Edward H Seymour GCB OM, in July 1903 by the crew of the Royal Navy cruiser HMS "Pique", who had discovered it in an ancient temple or pagoda in Shan-hai-kwan.  The Bell was subsequently moved to the lawn at the rear but has now been removed altogether.

In 1935 the more modern Government House became available and the then Commander-in-Chief moved to that property and renamed it Admiralty House.  As a result its new owners, the War Department renamed it Hamoaze House, the name by which it is known today.  It is a Grade II listed building.