Castle Street was once one of the most notorious streets in Plymouth. Known locally as Damnation Alley ‘in which every house was formerly an inn and every inn a brothel’ there were, in 1852, no less than 10 pubs and every one of them a den of iniquity. However a campaign to clean up the area championed by the Reverend Francis Barnes ‘who more than once entered its infernos when nude men and women were dancing’, saw that number reduced to one by 1873.
The Sailor’s Return was one of the casualties. A relatively popular pub name around Naval ports, there is one in Dorset that had showing a returning sailor being greeted by his wife, while her lover sat trapped in a cupboard.
1852 - Richard Oram
1861 - John Hockeday
1865 - M Evens