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You may have missed this Victorian colonnade, an open front terraced summer house tucked away on the edge of the Plymouth Hoe (public park). Also known as the Belvedere Wedding Cake, it is a nice place to sit down and enjoy the view when you are not in a hurry.
When visiting the Hoe (public park) in Plymouth, we wouldn’t blame you for missing this little gem near the sea front. Considering the sheer size of the Plymouth Naval Memorial with its giant obelisk, monuments, statues, the light house and many other attractions in this coastal town, the Victorian colonnade is easily overlooked.
Built in 1891 as a viewpoint, it now houses some of Plymouth branch war memorials.
Located near the seafront, at the edge of Hoe Park, it is overshadowed by both the iconic Smeaton’s Tower, a 72-foot Eddystone lighthouse and the obelisk at the centre of the Plymouth Naval Memorial. Even the Mayflower Memorial gained more foot fall than this beautiful seaside colonnade.
The Belvedere ‘Wedding Cake’
The listed building is nicknamed the Wedding Cake because of its cream white finish, terraced and three tiered construction. It overlooked the Plymouth Promenade Pier which was completed in 1884, a major attraction back in its hey days but was destroyed in the Blitz in 1941. See photo of the Plymouth Promenade Pier below.
Belvedere Memorial Garden
The garden in front of the building has been turned into a memorial garden with several plaque arranged in circular formation. These gave us a window into the past and together with the colonnade, play host to commemorative events. A number of plaques are shown below.
The plaque reads “In memory of the officers and men of the Polish Navy who gave their lives fighting alongside their British comrades 1939-45. This tablet has been erected by voluntary subscription opposite the site occupied by Polish naval barracks during the war.
The plaque reads “National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association Plymouth Branch. This memorial plaque is dedicated with pride, respect and gratitude to the memory of those members of the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces and civilians who made the supreme sacrifice in the Malayan Emergency 1948 – 1960, the Borneo Confrontation 1963 – 1966, the War years 1939 0 1945 R.I.P.
Plaque reads: Burma Star Association Plymouth Branch – in memory of those who gave their lives in the Burma Campaign 1941-45. These words are taken from a memorial at Kohima – when you go home, tell them of us and say for your tomorrow, we gave our today. Unveiled by the Lord mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Cordon Draper and Rear Admiral M. N. Lucey.
Plaque reads “Normandy Veterans Associations to the memory of the men who gave their lives from ‘D’ Day 6th June to 20th August 1944 R.I.P.
The plaque reads “In proud memory of those members of the UN (British Forces) who died during and since the Korean War 1950-1953. Not one of them is forgotten before god.
We all stand on the shoulders of the brave who have come before us. Likewise, these memorial plaques are a great reminder of just how much has been sacrificed for our peaceful present. For that we are grateful.
If you are in the vicinity of the generous memorial, it really is worth a visit.
Location of the Belvedere