(now Kitty O’Hanlons)
Standing on the oldest known inn site in Plymouth, the Abbey was built here, in St. Andrew’s Street, following the demolition of the mediaeval Turk’s Head in 1861. St. Andrew’s Street itself of course is one of the oldest thoroughfares in the city although since 1979 its line has been interrupted by Plymouth Magistrates’ Court. Until the 1930s an ancient terrace of buildings known as Abbey Place ran from the corner of St. Andrew Street, opposite this pub, across to the top of Finewell Street and the Prysten House.
Curiously enough it is this building – the Prysten House – which indirectly gives its name both to Abbey Place and the Abbey Hotel. Long thought, albeit mistakenly, to have been a place with ecclesiastical connections, the house, built by Thomas Yogge in the fifteenth century, was being referred to as the Old Abbey at least 250 years ago. The picture of an old Abbey ruins on the inn sign is no more than an attractive piece of fiction.
Known as Kitty O’Hanlons since 1994, this was the first ‘Irish’ pub in Plymouth and the best.