Plymouth, Devon - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
Plymouth is a city on the south coast of Devon.
Plymouth's early history extends to the Bronze Age, when a first settlement emerged at Mount Batten. This settlement continued as a trading post for the Roman Empire, until it was surpassed by the more prosperous village of Sutton founded in the ninth century, now called Plymouth.
In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers departed Plymouth for the New World and established Plymouth Colony, the second English settlement in what is now the United States of America. During the English Civil War, the town was held by the Parliamentarians and was besieged between 1642 and 1646.
Throughout the Industrial Revolution, Plymouth grew as a commercial shipping port, handling imports and passengers from the Americas, and exporting local minerals (tin, copper, lime, china clay and arsenic). The neighbouring town of Devonport became a strategic Royal Naval shipbuilding and dockyard town.
The combined town took the name of Plymouth which, in 1928, achieved city status. The city's naval importance later led to its being targeted by the German military and partially destroyed by bombing during World War II, an act known as the Plymouth Blitz.
It has the largest operational naval base in Western Europe, HMNB Devonport.
Upper Palaeolithic deposits, including bones of Homo sapiens, have been found in local caves, and artefacts dating from the Bronze Age to the Middle Iron Age have been found at Mount Batten, showing that it was one of the main trading ports of the country at that time.
An unidentified settlement named TAMARI OSTIA is listed in Ptolemy's Geographia and is presumed to be located in the area of the modern city. An ancient promontory fort was located at Rame Head at the mouth of Plymouth Sound with ancient hillforts located at Lyneham Warren to the east, Boringdon Camp and Maristow Camp to the north.
The settlement of Plympton, further up the River Plym than the current Plymouth, was also an early trading port. As the river silted up in the early 11th century, mariners and merchants were forced to settle downriver at the current day Barbican near the river mouth. At the time this village was called Sutton, meaning south town in Old English. The name Plym Mouth, meaning "mouth of the River Plym" was first mentioned in a Pipe Roll of 1211.
The name Plymouth first officially replaced Sutton in a charter of King Henry VI in 1440.