The British Empire and its effect on Plymouth


Plymouth Map, c1540


This map shows just how important defences were to a port like Plymouth. Castles, crenallated walls, towers dominate the approaches to the rivers in and around Plymouth. If you look clearly you can see the chain that guarded Sutton Harbour. It is clear that attacks were expected and had to be repelled. The French had indeed landed in 1403 and caused considerable damage but it is clear that a return is considered as a distinct possibility. Henry VIII had spent much of the money he received from the dissolution of the monasteries and it can be expected that some of that money would have been made available to the defences of the Sound.


Empire in Your Backyard: Plymouth Article




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