Merchant’s HousePlymouth
33 St Andrew's Street
The Barbican
Devon PL1 2AH
 
 
 
The black and white half-timbered Merchant’s House is Plymouth’s Folk Museum. This historic museum is a treasure trove of old curiosities and everyday items. The highlight on the third floor is a complete Victorian chemist’s shop where visitors can try their hand at pill-rolling.
 
Treasures include a 17th century Trelawney mantelpiece, genuine gold painted 19th century shop front signs, a huge doll's house that dates from the 1870s, a ducking stool, local truncheons and manacles, and a Victorian school room.
 
The 16th/17th century Merchant’s House is in St Andrew’s Street, one of Plymouth’s oldest thoroughfares. Several of the city’s Mayors have lived in No. 33 but its most famous owner was William Parker, an Elizabethan adventurer, sea captain, merchant and friend of Sir Francis Drake.
 
Parker was probably the master of the "Mary Rose", the victualling ship of Sir Francis Drake’s squadron, in the fleet which sought the Spanish Armada in 1588. Between 1608 and 1609 he used the profits from his privateering adventures against the Spaniards in the Caribbean, to modernize the old house.
 
As a merchant he took an interest in the settling of Virginia in the New World and helped promote the Plymouth Company for the colonisation of the North American coast, founded under the Charter from King James I in April 1606.
 
He went on one last fateful trip to the Dutch East Indies in 1618. He was second-in-command to Thomas Dale who wrote that Parker was 'unfit for his work being old and corpulent' (fat) and it seems that he was right because Captain Parker died at sea on 24 September 1618.
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:    External Link
 
Opening Dates, Times & Admission Costs
 
Disabled Access
Access is limited due to the building’s age and layout. There is a narrow, twisting staircase to the upper floors. Not suitable for wheelchair users.
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone  +44 (0)1752 304 774
Website  Merchant’s House Museum    External Link
 
Getting There
Excellent information is on the Museum website at Web:  Merchant’s House Museum/ Travel Information    External Link
 
There is also a location map at the Visitor Information link above.
 
Google Map - Merchant's House Museum