A club steeped in history
The first recorded use of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club site was in 1688 when it was closely associated with the construction of the Royal Citadel. Plymouth town had held out throughout the recent civil war against the Royalists and this was not forgotten when Charles II was restored to the throne. It was claimed the Citadel was built as much to dominate Plymouth town as to protect our foreshores from foreign invasion.
It was not until 1753 that Ligoniers Battery was constructed, immediately to the North of the site, with its guns protecting the foreshore to the mouth of the Tamar at Devil’s Point. A second battery was built to protect the mouth of the River Plym. This was called Fredericks Battery, and after these Batteries were decommissioned in the 1850`s Ligoniers was demolished to allow the construction of Madeira Road. Fredericks Battery forms the basis of the Club premises. The remains of the tunnel connecting these Batteries to the Citadel can still be found at the North West corner of our harbour.
The Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club was founded in 1877 in premises within the town. It was formed to promote local sailing and rooms were rented at West Hoe and on Plymouth Pier to conduct our sailing events. It was so successful that in 1886 it was granted the status of a Royal Yacht Club. This was followed in 1893 by being awarded the permission to fly the Blue Ensign.
The growth of the Club was such that new premises were needed so in 1896 our present Clubhouse was acquired. After some alterations (including accommodation for a live in steward) the whole of the Club’s activities were transferred to this site by the year 1899. It was not, however, until 1936 that the lease was purchased, meaning that the whole of the site is now owned by the Club.
Originally the Club arranged racing for three classes of yachts and in 1902 pioneered dinghy racing in Plymouth Sound. It progressed until sailing was interrupted by the First World War, although social activities continued with Officers of the R.F.C. at Mt. Batten as honorary members.
More and more classes were catered for on the water including the prestigious `J` class followed by the twelve metre boats. Then the club was closed down on 1940 by the Second World War and our premises were used for wartime associated activities by the M.O.D.
It was in 1947 that the club began to fully operate again and a full sailing programme was available. Various dinghy championships were promoted, National, European and World events were staged.
Since the 1940s many alterations have been made to the Clubhouse. The live-in steward’s accommodation was abolished and larger rooms/toilets/kitchen constructed using the space thereby created. In the 1950s and 1960s the slipway and dinghy park were constructed and in 1997 we completed further improvements and additions to the Club premises which have given even better facilities for all who use the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club.
The alterations were made with the help of a Lottery Grant from the Sports Council. It provided us with a Restaurant, disabled access and toilets, a larger kitchen, new showers with toilets, Committee rooms and a new race control. It has provided much more space and has given the club one of the best venues possible with facilities second to none.
In the year 2000 the Club was officially licensed to carry out civil wedding ceremonies.