Here is our favourite historical facts about Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City.
1. Drakes Island is actually a tip of a volcano! The rocks that make this beautiful island is made of volcanic tuff and lava. There is no need to worry however as the last eruption was estimated to have taken place hundreds of millions years ago.
2. The Plymouth Barbican has the largest concentration of cobbled streets in Britain.
3. Prysten House, now home to the famous Tanners Restaurant is the oldest surviving house in Plymouth, dating back to 1498.
4. The Mayflower Steps. The memorial was built in 1934 on the Plymouth Barbican Waterfront , but the original steps are actually buried under the Admiral Macbride pub, somewhere beneath where the ladies toilets are now.
5. New Street on the Barbican used to be known as Rag Street and is the oldest street in Plymouth.
6. The Cross set in the ground on the Plymouth Hoe is so discreet that it is easy to miss, but the event it commemorates was witnessed by some 10,000 servicemen and thousands more local civilians. After numerous poorly paid and hungry naval personnel had been executed at Plymouth Dock, three Irish marines (two Catholic and one Protestant), were executed here for mutiny on 6th July 1797. A fourth was spared and given 1,000 lashes instead.
7. Smeaton’s Tower was built out of parts of the Eddystone Lighthouse (situated on Eddystone Reef), which was dismantled in 1877 and moved piece by piece to the Plymouth Hoe.
8. Jackas Bakery on Plymouth Barbican is Britain’s oldest operating commercial bakery!
9. HMNB Devonport is the largest operational naval base in Western Europe.
10. Ever wondered why the cannons on The Royal Citadel are facing the city as well as the sea? During the English Civil War Plymouth sided with Parliamenarist. After the Royalists returned to power they decided to demonstrate to the people of Plymouth what the consequences will be if they choose to go against monarchy once more, by pointing the cannons at the city.