Over-looked and misunderstood
Pilgrims Point, Mayflower Steps, Barbican, Plymouth
For those who are experience Plymouth on a day to day basis it often comes as a little to bump into things that pertain to its more illustrious past. Generally speaking, as a town it's definitely a 6/10, could do better. (See me after the class please.)
It's incredibly easy to see only the shops, pubs and drunks and ignore its history.
To this end I offer some shots and the like of the Pilgrim Steps - the area from which a band of brave souls decided to try to create their own future and build a new culture in their own image.
It was a noble gesture - and a very brave one.
The first plaque reads: 'On the 6th of September 1620, the Mayorality of Thomas Townes after being kindly entertained and courteously used by divers Friends there dwelling, the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth in the Mayflower in the Providence of God to settle in New Plymouth and to lay the foundations of the New England States The ancient Cawsey whence they embarked was destroyed not many Years afterwards but the Site of their Embarkation is marked by the Stone bearing the name of the MAYFLOWER in the pavement of the adjacent Pier.
This Tablet was erected in the Mayoralty of J T Bond 1891, to commemorate the Departure, and the visit to Plymouth in July of that Year of a number of their Descendants and Representatives.'
And, lest we forget the Kiwis: 'This tablet commemorates the departure for Plymouth in May 1839 of The Tory, the pioneer ship in the colonisation of New Zealand'
Try to find the artist's...
Try to find the artist's studio who has made an intriguing career of painting Plymouth's more attractive women nude, writing texts on Art and - in general - living the life of the stereotypical, long-haired, suffering, dressed in black Artiste. I think his name is R. Lenkiewiz
The lighthouse which now stands on Plymouth Hoe was formally the Eddystone Lighthouse. It was perhaps the most notable as it marked a major step forward in the design of such structures. Recommended to the task by the Royal Society, civil engineer John Smeaton pioneered the use of 'hydraulic lime' (a form of concrete) and developed a technique involving dovetailed blocks of granite in the building of the lighthouse (1756-1759)
The lighthouse was dismantled and partially rebuilt at Plymouth Hoe as a memorial; the Victorian builders could not dismantle the whole structure due to the strength of the dovetailing and hydraulic lime.
The Royal Citadel
The Royal Citadel sits dominantly over the Hoe and Barbican area of Plymouth, on the site of a former Plymouth fort. The Citadel was built in 1664 to protect against the invading Dutch, although there are still remaining buildings dating back to 1490. There are wonderful views over Plymouth Sound and Drakes Island from here.
There are guided tours at 2pm daily, May-September, The Citadel is presently home to a Commando unit. (Hmmm (~_-))
During the Civil War in the mid 17th century the people of Plymouth supported Parliament. Then King Charles made a visit to the city, the Plymothians took to him and changed there allegiance from Parliament to the Crown, after which the guns of the Citadel were turned to face the city of Plymouth to remind the people of their misplaced sympathies!
The Gateway to Cornwall
Plymouth is a city in the South West of England. It is situated on a hilly peninsula at the mouths of the river Plym and Tamar and at the head of Plymouth Sound, a splendid natural harbor. Plymouth is now one of the few remaining naval dockyards in Britain and the largest naval base in Western Europe.
As the regional capital of Devon and Cornwall, Plymouth is an extra-ordinary blend of vibrant modern city and historic seafaring port.
The “Hoe,” a limestone bluff, overlooks the Sound. According to legend, Sir Francis Drake was playing bowls there when news came that the Spanish Armada had been sighted. The Royal Citadel, a 17th sentury fortress which dominates the “Hoe” is still used as a barracks for the Royal Artillery.
Plymouth's history is dominated and influenced by its surrounding geography. The River Tamar and its tributaries, together with the River Plym, dominate the surrounding area and have had a major role to play in the city's development. The Roman invasion had little impact in Devon.
During the Middle Ages Plymouth grew as a port. The towns in the region had a developing trade and as its importance grew more ships used the regions southern ports. During the 15th Century Sutton Harbour was the perfect anchorage for warships and this led to the fortification of the town with a wall built in 1404. In 1577 Sir Francis Drake left aboard the Golden Hind on his epic voyage around the world. He returned three years later as the most famous man in the kingdom.
In 1403 the town was briefly occupied and burnt by the French. It was also from Plymouth that the Pilgrims sailed in 1620 aboard the Mayflower.
Plymouth was where the defeated Napoleon Bonaparte was brought aboard the HMS Bellerophon before his exile to St. Helena in 1815.
During the civil war Plymouth was fought over many times. Many prominent Royalists attempted to capture the small but important town of Plymouth during 1642-46. Amongst the most noted are: King Charles 1st, Prince Maurice, Sir Ralph Hopton, Sir Richard Grenville, Sir John Berkely and Col. John Bigby. A resolute band of heroes held Plymouth for Parliament in a 40-month almost continual siege. Plymouth stood firm for nearly four years and when the King was defeated they found that they had sided with the eventual victors of the war.
By 1712 there were 318 men employed and by 1733 Plymouth Dock, as the new town was called, had 3000 people.
In 1768 Captain James Cook set out on his voyage to search for a Southern Continent. He sailed from the Barbican. Today the Barbican with its Tudor and Jacobean buildings, such as the Elizabethan House give us an idea of what Plymouth must have been like.
On Cooks next voyage he decided again to leave from Plymouth and in 1772 he set off on his most famous voyage.
The city was extensively blitzed during World War II, to the extent that approximately twice the amount of housing stock that existed prior to the war was destroyed during it (as a consequence of rebuilt houses being successively hit). Although the dockyards were the principal targets, civilian casualties were inevitably very high.
Plymouth was also one of the principal staging posts for the Normandy landings in June 1944.