The William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné

Master record for Schaaf no. 1931

The Victualling Office, Plymouth, from the Battery at Mount Edgcumbe House

Attributed to: William Henry Fox Talbot

Created: Between 1 Sep 1845 and 30 Sep 1845

Location: Cornwall

This view shows a late summer outing in Plymouth on the property of Talbot's sister Caroline, who had married the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe. The subjects are recorded as two "Miss McDonalds", Talbot's wife Constance, and an unidentified man with the telescope, likely the amateur photographer the Rev. Calvert R. Jones. Across the way is the Royal Navy's new Victualling Office, designed by Sir John Rennie and completed in the 1830s. The block of buildings housed a slaughterhouse, a brewhouse, and an enormous mill and bakery capable of processing 270,000 pounds of flour per week. The self-contained food-and-drink manufacturing complex was commissioned to provide for the needs of the entire British fleet and specifically designed to serve the navy in periods of crisis (from the Metropolitan Museum of Art catalogue record).