Weymouth-Dorset.co.uk Local History

The Old Harbour

Trinity Road and Trinity Street

Crossing the Town Bridge from the side of the harbour that we now know as the town, over to the Weymouth side the first building of note is Holy Trinity church. Holy Trinity was built in 1836 to provide the Weymouth side of the harbour with its own church. Prior to then the parishioners had to use All Saints at Wyke Regis, a mile or so distant. It is from the dedication of the church that Trinity Road takes its name. This street used to be part of Weymouth's old High Street running from North Quay and leading into what is now, Trinity Street. The first part of Trinity Road originally had buildings along the harbour's edge, backing onto the water.

Holy Trinity Church, Weymouth, Dorset. The parish church of Weymouth

Holy Trinity

Trinity Street to the right, Trinity Road to the left leading to Holy Trinity Church

Trinity Street/Trinity Road

A charming mixture of buildings of differing dates lines the edge of harbour along Trinity Road. Of the more notable ones, the Kings Arms inn with a Georgian frontage was built during the sixteenth century and remodelled in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Of the other buildings along here, at the other end, number 2 (the first blue house from the left) was formerly the summer home of Ralph Allen who purchased the house in 1750. Ralph Allen was a quarry owner, Mayor of Bath, and made wealthy by his organisation of the postal system. Allen made his mark on Weymouth as a seaside resort and entertained Royalty at his house here in 1758.

Number 5 although appearing to be of later date hides its Elizabethan ground floor structure.

At the front of the Old Harbour, on the Weymouth side, standing outside the Old Rooms Inn, is the monument of the old town pump. The pump used to be sited at North Quay where the beginning of old Weymouth's High Street is. The plaque on it reads:

Weymouth Old Town Pump

erected 1775 at West Plains (North Quay)

moved here 1990

The street leading off right of the pump is Trinity Street. This was once the eastern end of old Weymouth's High Street. Weymouth was once described thus: "Weymouth, as now ytt is, is but little, consisting chiefly of one street, which for a good space lyeth open to the se" (Coker).

Old Town Pump, Weymouth, Dorset

The Old Town Pump

The Old Rooms and the main entrance to the Old Rooms, Trinity Street, Weymouth, Dorset

The Old Rooms and the front entrance

The first building on the left in Trinity Street is Trinity House of Georgian origin. Immediately next door is an Elizabethan building, the Old Rooms. Once backing onto the harbour and originally a private house, it became Weymouth's Assembly Rooms during the eighteenth century.

It was here that the Duke of Gloucester, prior to building his Weymouth home of Gloucester Lodge, took tea on a visit to the town in 1771. In the summer months the assembly rooms provided board and lodgings for visitors in the same manner as the hotels on the Melcombe side. However, an agreement was reached between the local hoteliers not to dramatically increase their prices as many might do in consideration of the Royal visits of George III. That said, measures were agreed so that "no improper company be admitted."

The house once had an oak fireplace surround that was later removed to Warmwell House.

The Assembly Rooms became known by its present name of the Old Rooms on closure in 1785. New assembly rooms had been built on the Melcombe Regis side of the harbour and this one had fallen into disuse.

On the opposite side of Trinity Street stands the Hope Independent Chapel. This building dates from 1862 and replaced the original one of 1822.

Further down the street is the Tudor House, thought to have been built in the late Tudor and early Stuart period. The house is likely to have been a merchant's house and was at one time two cottages. Originally, it would have faced onto the harbour, then known as Hope or 'Ope Cove and sometime the 'Hole' before infilling in 1781. The infilled area is now Cove Street.

During the 1930s the house was unoccupied and had fallen into disrepair. E Warmsley Lewis, a well known Weymouth architect, subsequently bought the house and began its restoration during the 1940s. By this time, he had helped found the Weymouth Civic Society and he left the house to them in his will in 1977. Inside it is furnished with a variety of objects from the 17th and 18th centuries collected by the architect. The Civic Society continues to preserve the house and open it to the public.

The Tudor House, Trinity Street, Old Harbour, Weymouth, Dorset

The Tudor House

Historical Parish Information

 

Parish Registers begin:

1836 (previous entries in Wyke Regis)

Hundred or Liberty:

Melcombe Regis

Poor Law Union & Registration District:

Weymouth

Somerset & Dorset FHS Census Volumes

1841 - Vol.3 1851 - Vol.1 1891 - Vol.4

Online Parish Clerk Project (external link)

Weymouth OPC

Family History

Smuggling

Shipwrecks

Tall Ships Race 1994

 

Nearby Parishes and Places

Boot Hill and Rodwell area

Old Harbour - Hope Square and Hope Street

Old Weymouth High Street & Chapelhay

Main Harbour

Nothe and Nothe Fort

Marina

Beach, Seafront and Bay

 

Portland

Preston

Radipole

Wyke Regis

 

Local Attractions and Places to Visit

Links

 

External Links:

Weymouth Civic Society

 

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