“Until the formation of the Docks, Millbay, being practically valueless, was not considered in the local municipal and parochial arrangements” (RN Worth History of Plymouth 1890). It would appear therefore that Millbay, for some time, existed independently of the Three Towns. Certainly it was the last of the inner harbours of what we now know as modern Plymouth to be developed, however once underway, progress was very swift.
Such is not to say it was devoid of development entirely, before that time, after all the mill and mill dam that occasioned the name “Millbay” were created in the Middle Ages. The area of land that we refer to as Millbay however, as distinct from the inlet and harbour itself, is essentially an area of reclaimed land that was in past times known as Surepool or the Sourpool, doubtless on account of the marshy ground and stagnant water.