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Plympton St. Maurice is a picturesque little village hidden from view and tucked away on the outskirts of Plymouth. The earliest reference to Plympton was in 904 A.D. when it was a Royal Manor. The Anglo Saxon village was sited near where the church stands. It became a Borough in Norman times and the motte and bailey castle, street pattern and guildhall are surviving elements of the medieval layout. Plympton sent two MP's to the first English Parliament in Edward I's reign. In 1328 it became a Stannary town testing and marketing tin from south west Dartmoor. Cattages in Fore st have been dated back to the 13th century, and most buildings have medieval foundations.

The 17th and 18th centuries are represented by the Old Grammar School, Plympton House, and most of the listed houses which reflect this important period in Plympton History.

You can see the many different ages of construction amongst the various historical buildings dotted around the village. Indeed the village and surrounding are was the subject of the Channel 4's 'Time Team' program just a few years ago.

Today as in the past there is still a great community spirit amongst all the residents with regular events being held and organised by the Plympton St. Maurice Civic Association.

This website has been created and is maintained by one of the village residents. It relies upon the help of the local community to forward any useful information, historical tales or indeed photos of the local area and events.

Please forward anything that you feel may be of interest to the Plympton Webmaster for consideration.

Thank you and enjoy

The Old Plympton St Maurice Fire Engine in action!

The Plympton St Maurice Civic Association have their Annual General Meeting on Thursday 23rd January 2014 at the Plympton St Maurice Guildhall starting at 7.30pm.

Visit the Plympton Civic Society website
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The Old Plympton St Maurice Fire Engine - a potted history

The fire engine was built by Nuttalls of Longacre London in 1765. An advertisement from that date states that Elizabeth, widow of Adam Nuttall of Longacre, London, was engine maker to all His Majesty’s Public Offices, Dockyards, Forts and Garrisons etc., belonging to His Majesty’s Royal Navy.

Initially it was probably owned by an insurance company which used its own engine to protect houses that indicated, by a plaque, that they were insured by that company. Such a plaque can be seen on Brick House Fore Street which was registered with Sun Insurance in 1791. Subsequently it appears that the Borough of Plympton St. Maurice took over responsibility for the engine.

In 1871 the fire brigade consisted of a conductor and twelve volunteers. The engine, horse drawn and hand pumped, was housed next to the Guildhall in Fore Street. The brigade was called the PDVFB – Plympton and District Volunteer Fire Brigade. The company was summoned by bugle, and the most important job was catching the horse which was kept in the field south of Fore Street.

In the Plympton Magazine in February 1895 there is a description of a fire in the grocer’s shop of Mr. Reuben Triscott. “The fire was got under in about two hours. The house was gutted and the three children rescued. Order was maintained by P.C. Frood. The hydrants, the stand pipes, the pressure of water and the hose reel fittings could not have been better. But for so good a water supply and so prompt and efficient a fire brigade, there is little doubt that the whole row of seven houses would have been burnt down.”

A correspondent to the Morning News in 1922 describes how the St. Maurice fire brigade was called to a fire some miles away. “The fire engine was taken out of its shed but to our surprise was left in the street, while hose and firemen were packed onto and into a taxicab and driven off to the fire. On asking why the engine had not gone too, we were told, ‘Oh, ‘Er can’t go yet. The ‘oss be out to milk rounds.’ In due course the ‘oss’ returned. Then in solemn state the engine was driven off to the fire.”

A popular display was a demonstration of the brigade on the Castle Green when a fire in a mock- up house would be extinguished. One such event was recorded by Pathe News in 1923 when the parish was paid two guineas for the privilege of filming it.

In 1994 the engine appeared on the Blue Peter programme.

On the fire engine are the arms of the ancient borough of Plympton St. Maurice, or Plympton Erle as it was often called. The Arms consist of a falcon and the abbreviation Comit Sigill Burg. De. Plympt.

When the fire shed next to the Guildhall was converted to a caretaker’s flat the Civic Association assumed responsibility for the fire engine. It was housed on their behalf initially at the Fire Station in Glen Road, and subsequently at Saltram House. During this time its condition deteriorated. The Civic Association has since employed a wheelwright who repaired the wheels and axles.

At the time of the Lamb Feast in 2005, a Royal Navy Field Gun crew pulled the engine from Ridgeway to the Castle Green. In preparation for this, members of the Fleet Time Support Group undertook a major restoration, including refurbishing the Borough crest. Since then, the fire engine has regularly been a highlight in the parades for the Plympton St. Maurice Midsummer Festival and the May Ridgeway Fair.