Walking along Weymouth North Quay today it is hard to imagine that this was once a historic bustling area with houses, shops, pubs and businesses lining the quay. But if you take a look into the harbour you will see a clue to its past – blocks of rubble. This debris once made up a fine Tudor house, thought to be the Harbourmasters House. It stood proudly where the 1971 municipal buildings now stand.
The second war bombing destroyed much of Chapelhay and the surrounding area in North Quay.
In the late 1950s redevelopment begun of this bomb damaged area.
Ernest Wesley Lewis, a Dorset Architect, was very much interested in Weymouth’s architectural heritage and became a founder member of Weymouth Civic Society in 1946. The Civic Society attempted to save the Harbour Master’s House. After a long campaign the society lost and The Harbour Master’s House was eventually demolished. The Civic Society did succeed though in restoring the Tudor house in Trinity Street which is now open to the public.
During the redevelopment, the demolishers were at a loss with what to do with the rubble from the house. They came up with the easiest solution – throwing the bricks into the sea. The only object saved was the staircase which was installed in St Ann’s Church, Radipole.
Today more redevelopment is in process. The nearby demolished Fire Station site is being developed into retirement properties with the promise that they are designed to reflect the appearance of the historic town centre and harbour side. Let’s wait and see…