England - Plymouth

    

Plymouth was awarded city status in 1928, and is situated in Devon, along the coast of England. Because of its optimal positioning along the coast, Plymouth has a lucrative shipbuilding industry, which remains a major player in the sustenance of the local economy. It has a population of just over a quarter of a million people and its total area covers approximately 80 square kilometres (or just over 30 square miles).

Plymouth was first occupied during the Bronze Age, according to archaeological evidence. The first civilisation of the area was based in Mount Batten, which grew once the Romans arrived in the country. Mount Batten was a major trading port for all of England. At this stage, the settlement was called Sutton (the Old English name for South Town). Being situated along the coast put Plymouth in the direct line of fire (so to speak) for invading countries. After several major attacks and much destruction, a number of forts and other defensive structures were built. This was during the Tudor and Elizabethan eras (around the 15th Century), and the structures exhibit typical styles of these periods.

During the next century (the 1500’s), wool became a major article of trade and, together with the maritime industry, Plymouth soon gained global recognition. In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers, who had been managing the area, left England and embarked on their exploration of America. The English Civil War saw Plymouth besieged and restored to the rulership of the Crown, King Charles II.

The 17th and 18th centuries saw massive growth of the town and, especially, its port. Its population increased ten-fold over the course of just 20 years in the early 1700’s; clear testimony to the expansion taking place. Then, in World War II, Plymouth became a target due to the naval significance it held. This led to some of it being completely destroyed. After the war, the whole city was rebuilt.

Image of a sunset over Plymouth Sound, Devon, England
Sunset over Plymouth Sound, Devon, England

The city of Plymouth is situated between the River Plym the River Tamar, the latter of which forms the boundary between the counties of Devon and Cornwall. Both rivers flow into the Plymouth Sound, which has a breakwater to protect the Sound from the sea. Interestingly, the Plymouth Sound, Shores and Cliffs is a Site of Special Scientific Interest owing to the mixture of slate, granite and limestone found here.

Plymouth is wetter than much of the rest of England, although its climate is also milder. As a result, it is particularly lush and boasts a wide array of exotic vegetation. There are many large parks and vast expanses of greens.


Today, the city’s economy is supported largely by the public sector, including administration, engineering, medicine and education. Tourism also plays a major role in the financial stability of the area, which has much to offer in the way of sites, attractions and activities. These include:

• The Royal Citadel (built in 1666)
• Smeaton's Tower (built in 1759 as a lighthouse)
• 20 war memorials
• National Marine Aquarium
• Saltram Estate
• Crownhill Fort
• Mayflower Visitor Centre
• Blackfriars Gin Distillery
• Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery
• The Merchant's House

For more information, please view: http://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/