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The Powder Monkey

A ‘powder monkey’ was naval slang for the young boys who filled shells and cartridges with gunpowder.

2–2a The Parade, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 1RJ

The name of this pub recalls Nancy Perriam, who lived in nearby Tower Street and was a powder monkey – naval slang for ‘boys’ and, in this case, Nancy – who filled shells and cartridges with gunpowder on board ships of war. While female sailors were not unknown, they usually went to sea initially in male disguise. Nancy lived in nearby Tower Street, until 1865, when she died in her 98th year. Nancy acted as a powder monkey, working alongside the gunners on board the Crescent and the Orion.

Text about The Powder Monkey.

The text reads: This J D Wetherspoon pub is named after Nancy Perriam, whose sewing skills earned her a berth in the Navy alongside her sailor husband. Nancy lived in nearby Tower Street until 1865, when she died in her 98th year.

A ‘powder monkey’ was naval slang for the young boys who filled shells and cartridges with gunpowder. As well as sewing shirts and sails, Nancy acted as a powder monkey, working alongside the gunners on board the Crescent and the Orion.

External photograph of the building – main entrance.


If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk