The original Plymouth Pasty is to be brought back to life for tasting in an historic building that is also being brought back to life.
Dave Morrish has opened the newly-restored Liner Lookout on the Hoe as part of the Plymouth Your Space project. And he’s now serving up a recreation of the original pasty from the recipe which sparked off ‘the pasty wars’ of 2006 and 2014 between Plymouth and Cornwall.
Dave and his wife carried out extensive research and testing in order to re-create what they believe to be the original 1510 pasty. The Plymouth Pasty notes that “Parfies”(the “f” is really the “long s” used in the Middle English) occurs in a list of expenses on a page in the Borough of Plymouth Audit Book, 1510.
The expenses relate to a big celebration of some sort in the “yeldehalle” (guildhall). And so it appears, the earliest records of the original “pafty” are right here in Plymouth.
The pasties are baked by Sammy Evans who owns St Maurice Bakery in Plympton. The Original Plymouth pasties used venison and this ingredient will be sourced locally. Andrew Phillips runs a company in Yealmpton, where he butchers and packs the game, which has been culled on local estates and farms.
The Original Plymouth Pasty is being be sold exclusively from the Liner Lookout and other items on sale will be entirely Plymouth products; Plymouth Maid Cream Teas using Janner Jam, Langage Farm clotted cream, Friary Mill scones and Plymouth Tea.
Deputy Council leader Peter Smith said; “The pasty’s coming home – here on the Hoe, in Plymouth. It’s an absolutely winning idea to have the original Plymouth pasty on sale on the iconic Hoe – gazing across to our friends in Cornwall.
“It’s tremendous to see all this happen in a building that used to be empty.”
The watchtower was built in the 1870s as a lookout for the big ships that called into the busy port of Plymouth. It has been empty for over 20 years until the building was identified as a possible space for use under the Plymouth Your Space project, which brings vacant or underused sites in the city back into use.
The Council has agreed a commercial lease with David, who is restoring the building, which is grade II listed.
In 2006 a talk given by Dr Todd Gray, chair of the Friends of Devon’s Archives referred to a pasty recipe mentioned in Plymouth’s Old Audit Book Volume number 1/130, from the Borough of Plymouth records, dated 1510.
His comment at a one day conference was picked up by the Western Morning News and the story made the national newspapers. The following day the story had gone global and was put out on international news channels. It also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia.
Plymouth Your Space opens up opportunities for people to use space in different ways, while not commiting to long term lease arrangements. Ideas could include pop-up shops, art exhibitions, temporary cinemas, outside dance events, floating restaurants and cafes. It could also include temporary salons or bike repairs – there are no limits to the ideas.
The Council worked with partners to focus in the Business Improvement District areas, working with Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Plymouth City Centre Company, Plymouth University and City College Plymouth to identify 20 sites including:
- the hard-standing terrace on the water’s edge at Pebblestone Beach
- space beneath El Café on the water’s edge beneath Hoe Road
- the Lion’s Den – a former ‘gentlemen’s bathing area’ on the waterfront
- the roof and sun terrace of Tinside Lido
- empty city centre units, including along Cornwall Street
Chris Arscott, Chair of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership said: “It’s a simple concept but is important in terms of regeneration and job creation, key to opening up buildings long vacant, breathing new life into strategically important areas.”
A number of sites have successfully been brought back to life such as Rumpuscosy in an empty city centre shop on Derry’s Cross, and Flameworks ran in a city centre shop for the past two Christmas periods.