Built Heritage: Skittle Alley
BUILT HERITAGE: March 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust
This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings.
Skittle Alley is a Grade 2 Listed Building yet very few of us know of its existence. It is located on a small island and is connected to the mainland by a footbridge leading from the former residence of the Captain-in-Charge, the most senior officer at the Dockyard. The captain’s residence, known as The Cottage, was built in 1827 for the Naval Storekeeper who in 1837 became the Dockyard Superintendent. When Joseph Balingall retired in 1857 this post was abolished and Captain Frederick Hutton became the first Captain-in-Charge of HM Dockyard.
Skittle Alley was built as the bowling alley for Captain John Moresby RN who arrived in April 1878. It was during Moresby’s tenure that the Sailors’ Home, now demolished, was built. It too would boast of a bowling alley. Although Captain Moresby spent only three years in Bermuda, that he was highly respected is clear from the fact that his name survives to this day with Moresby House, built in 1899 for the Officer-in-Charge of Works, and Moresby Plain, the naval recreation and parade ground, today used by the public for large events.