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Plymouth travel guide — Plymouth tourism and travel information

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about Plymouth

Plymouth (Latitude: 50°25N, Longitude: 4°5W) is a city and unitary authority in South West England. Historically, it was part of the county of Devon and was Britain's greatest naval base. Now one of Britain's few remaining naval dockyards, it is situated at the mouths of the rivers Plym and Tamar. Heavily blitzed by the Luftwaffe during World War II, Plymouth was one of the English cities to be rebuilt by Patrick Abercrombie in the 1950s.

Plymouth became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament on November 12, 1439. On April 1, 1998 it became a unitary authority and independent from Devon.

Modern Plymouth is actually an agglomeration of three separate towns: Plymouth, Devonport and East Stonehouse; this amalgamation occurred in 1914, and prior to the merger, they were referred to collectively as "The Three Towns".

Most visitors to Plymouth are drawn to the spectacular Plymouth Hoe, a stretch of greensward overlooking the sea and Plymouth Sound; it is believed that this is the place where Sir Francis Drake completed his game of bowls before setting sail to defeat the Spanish Armada.

It is one of the primary gateways to Cornwall providing access by way of the Torpoint Ferry across the Hamoaze, the mouth of the Tamar, and the Tamar Bridge linking the A38 through the St Budeaux area of Plymouth on the Devon bank of the Tamar to Saltash on the Cornish bank. The major rail link to Cornwall, the Royal Albert Bridge runs side-by-side with the road bridge but, as its name suggests, it was built much earlier by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

People born in Plymouth are known as Janners.

Plymouth history

Plymouth in the Second World War

During World War II, Plymouth was one of Britain's principal naval dockyards, and this naval tradition continues to the present day. Plymouth was extensively blitzed during WWII, 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.

The first bomb fell on the city on Saturday July 6th 1940 at Swilly, killing 3 people. The last attack came on April 30th 1944. Altogether 1,172 people were killed and 3,269 people were injured - these figures do not include the many service casualties. At one point the population fell from 220,000, at the start of the conflict, to 127,000.

The two main shopping centres and nearly every civic building were destroyed, along with 20 schools and 40 churches. 3,754 houses were destroyed with a further 18,398 seriously damaged.

In the midst of that devastation a famous sign was anonymously posted over the door of St Andrew's Church saying simply Resurgam (we will recover) indicating the wartime spirit. To this day the entrance of the church has been referred to as Resurgam door.

Plymouth was one of the principal staging posts for the Normandy landings in June 1944.

Eddystone Lighthouse/Smeaton's Tower

The notorious Eddystone Rocks (Eddystone), 14 miles southwest of Plymouth, were the scene of mnay shipwrecks. Construction of the first lighthouse {Eddystone Lighthouse} started in 1696. The 3rd lighthouse was constructed by John Smeaton using innovative techniques, and was eventually removed when the Rocks themselves started to crack. The lighthouse is now located on Plymouth Hoe and visitors can climb it.

Plymouth in the Civil War

Plymouth sided with the Parlimentarians against Charles I in the English Civil War. The town held out for almost 4 years until the defeat of the Royalists. There are a number of Forts and Keeps from that era, the remains of which can still be seen.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Plymouth".

This city is also known as: Plymouth.

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