Devonport Column, Plymouth

This Grade 1 listed monument was designed by John Foulston in 1827 and had become a popular Plymouth landmark.  However, Devonport Column was closed off to the public in the 1990’s, having fallen into disrepair.

In 2012 the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), a South West based social enterprise, secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership (DRCP) to restore the structure, as part of a wider redevelopment of the Devonport area, including the adjacent Devonport Guildhall.

Ryearch completed the restoration works in line with English Heritage requirements which included extensive stone masonry works, M&E works and ground works:

  • Raising the base of the column and laying Cornish De Lank granite, salvaged Candy tiles and granite nosing
  • Cleaning the granite internally and externally using a low pressure hot water DOFF system
  • Removal of rendered lime and re-pointing with original mortar mixes
  • Restoration of granite and stone walls using reclaimed stone
  • Landscaping the surrounding areas and conservation garden
  • Installing external up lighters around the base and upper sections to showpiece the Column at night
  • Restoring the original cast iron doors, door frames and flag pole
  • Installing a stainless steel viewing tower

Devonport Column was re-opened in 2013 and thousands of visitors have now been able to safely climb up to get fantastic aerial views across Devon and Cornwall. The project won the Best Conversion or Conservation category at the 2014 Abercrombie Awards, more information here.

If you would like to visit the Column, please contact RIO on 01752 395028 or email for opening times, prices and further information.


  • Historic monument refurbishment and restoration
  • Location – Devonport, Plymouth, Devon
  • Client – Real Ideas Organisation (RIO)
  • Architect – Le Page Architects
  • Contract period – 26 weeks
  • Completion – June 2013
  • Value – £489,000