57 Facts About Plymouth


Plymouth is a port city and unitary authority in South West England.

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Plymouth's economy remains strongly influenced by shipbuilding and seafaring but has tended toward a service economy since the 1990s.

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Plymouth is categorized as a Small-Port City using the Southampton System for port-city classification.

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Settlement of Plympton, further up the River Plym than the current Plymouth, was an early trading port.

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In 1620 the Pilgrims set sail for the New World from Plymouth, establishing Plymouth Colony – the second English colony in what is the United States of America.

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Foulston was important for both Devonport and Plymouth and was responsible for several grand public buildings, many now destroyed, including the Athenaeum, the Theatre Royal and Royal Hotel, and much of Union Street.

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Plymouth was acquainted with engineer John Smeaton, the builder of the third Eddystone Lighthouse.

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Plan for Plymouth was, on the one hand, a template for the rapid reassembly of a destroyed city centre, but Abercrombie took the opportunity to lay out a whole hierarchy of settlements across the city of communities, neighbourhoods and districts.

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In 1945, Plymouth-born Michael Foot was elected Labour MP for the war-torn constituency of Plymouth Devonport which he represented until 1955.

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The campaign was not successful, and Plymouth ceased to be a county borough on 1 April 1974 with responsibility for education, social services, highways and libraries transferred to Devon County Council.

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City of Plymouth is divided into 20 wards, 17 of which elect three councillors and the other three electing two councillors, making up a total council of 57.

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Plymouth was granted the dignity of Lord Mayor by King George V in 1935.

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Since 1967, the unitary authority of Plymouth has included the, once independent, towns of Plympton and Plymstock which lie along the east of the River Plym.

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Plymouth Sound is protected from the sea by the Plymouth Breakwater, in use since 1814.

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Geologically, Plymouth has a mixture of limestone, Devonian slate, granite and Middle Devonian limestone.

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Plymouth Sound, Shores and Cliffs is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, because of its geology.

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The bulk of the city is built upon Upper Devonian slates and shales and the headlands at the entrance to Plymouth Sound are formed of Lower Devonian slates, which can withstand the power of the sea.

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On 27 April 1944 Sir Patrick Abercrombie's Plan for Plymouth to rebuild the bomb-damaged city was published; it called for demolition of the few remaining pre-War buildings in the city centre to make way for their replacement with wide, parallel, modern boulevards aligned east–west linked by a north–south avenue linking the railway station with the vista of Plymouth Hoe.

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Peripheral road system connecting the historic Barbican on the east and Union Street to the west determines the principal form of the city centre, even following pedestrianisation of the shopping centre in the late 1980s, and continues to inform the present 'Vision for Plymouth' developed by a team led by Barcelona-based architect David MacKay in 2003 which calls for revivification of the city centre with mixed-use and residential.

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Plymouth has a moderated temperate oceanic climate which is wetter and milder than the rest of England.

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Plymouth is home to the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom which conducts research in all areas of the marine sciences.

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Every student at the University of Plymouth is a member of UPSU.

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Plymouth has the largest cluster of marine and maritime businesses in the south west with 270 firms operating within the sector.

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Plymouth has a post-war shopping area in the city centre with substantial pedestrianisation.

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In terms of retail floorspace, Plymouth is ranked in the top five in the South West, and 29th nationally.

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Plymouth was one of the first ten British cities to trial the new Business improvement district initiative.

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Plymouth is at the southern end of the 99-mile long Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route .

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The Plymouth Cathedral is Roman Catholic, and is located in Stonehouse.

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Plymouth has the first known reference to Jews in the South West from Sir Francis Drake's voyages in 1577 to 1580, as his log mentioned "Moses the Jew" – a man from Plymouth.

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The Plymouth Synagogue is a Listed Grade II* building, built in 1762 and is the oldest Ashkenazi Synagogue in the English speaking world.

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From 2014 MTV Crashes Plymouth has taken place every July on Plymouth Hoe, hosting big-name acts such as The 1975, Little Mix, Tinie Tempah and Busted.

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City's main theatre is Theatre Royal Plymouth, presenting large-scale West End shows and smaller works as well as an extensive education and outreach programme.

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Plymouth Pavilions has multiple uses for the city staging music concerts, basketball matches and stand-up comedy.

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Barbican Theatre, Plymouth delivers a theatre and dance programme of performances and workshops focused on young people and emerging artists contains a main auditorium and rehearsal studio; they host the B-Bar, which offers a programme of music, comedy and spoken word performance.

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The Plymouth Athenaeum, which includes a local interest library, is a society dedicated to the promotion of learning in the fields of science, technology, literature and art.

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Plymouth is the regional television centre of BBC South West.

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The main local newspapers serving Plymouth are The Herald and Western Morning News with Radio Plymouth, BBC Radio Devon, Heart South West, and Pirate FM being the local radio stations with the most listeners.

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Plymouth is home to Plymouth Argyle F C, who play in the third tier of English football league known as Football League One.

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Plymouth Parkway were recently promoted to the Western League from the South West Peninsula League, and after two Covid-19 interrupted years to the Southern Football League in 2021, whilst Elburton Villa and Plymstock United continue to compete in the South West Peninsula League.

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Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club is a rugby union club that was founded in 1875 and are currently competing in the third tier of Professional English Rugby the National League 1.

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Plymouth Raiders played in the British Basketball League – the top tier of British basketball and were founded in 1983.

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Plymouth Gladiators are a speedway team, currently competing in the British National League, with home meetings taking place at the Plymouth Coliseum.

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Plymouth is home to Plymouth Marjons Hockey Club, with their 1st XI playing in the National League last season.

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Plymouth was home to an American football club, the Plymouth Admirals until 2010.

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Plymouth Leander is the most successful swimming club in Great Britain along with Plymouth Diving Club.

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Plymouth is an important centre for watersports, especially scuba diving and sailing.

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The Port of Plymouth Regatta is one of the oldest regattas in the world, and has been held regularly since 1823.

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In September 2011, Plymouth hosted the America's Cup World Series for nine days.

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Plymouth's electricity is supplied from the National Grid and distributed to Plymouth via Western Power Distribution.

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Plymouth has five fire stations located in Camel's Head, Crownhill, Greenbank, Plympton and Plymstock which is part of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

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Plymouth is served by Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the city's NHS hospital is Derriford Hospital 4 miles north of the city centre.

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Plymouth has 20 war memorials of which nine are on The Hoe including: Plymouth Naval Memorial, to remember those killed in World Wars I and II, and the Armada Memorial, to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

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Early port settlement of Plymouth, called "Sutton", approximates to the area now referred to as the Barbican and has 100 listed buildings and the largest concentration of cobbled streets in Britain.

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People from Plymouth are known as Plymothians or less formally as Janners.

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Plymouth was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world and was known by the Spanish as El Draco meaning "The Dragon" after he raided many of their ships.

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Plymouth died of dysentery in 1596 off the coast of Portobelo, Panama.

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Plymouth's cousin and contemporary John Hawkins was a Plymouth man.

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