War of 1812
British Empire in Plymouth
Smeaton's Tower, 1759
I am a native Plymothian and have lived in the city for most of my life. I think that it is no coincidence that my passion for imperial subjects is connected to my hometown roots. Although every location in Britain, however large or small, oozes history and heritage, there are not many places which can challenge Plymouth in the way that its history connects it to so much of the wider World. This is due to Plymouth's central role in Britain's maritime history and in particular the role of the Royal Navy and the Dockyards built to service it. For much of its history, Plymouth's fortunes have risen and to some extent fallen with the ebb and flow of Empire. Plymouth led the way in the initial and crucial phase of England's exploration and its search for new trading opportunities during the Tudor era. It served as a base to help defend the islands from becoming a colony of other powers, be it Spain, France or any other would-be invader. South West mariners were at the forefront of colonisation in the recently discovered New World lands of North America and the Caribbean. Geographically, the South West peninsular provided an ideal starting point for anyone wishing to travel across the Atlantic or further afield after marine technology opened up this new highway of trade, exploration and colonisation.
Plymouth as an Early Port
War of 1812
Campaign Maps
Significant Individuals
British and Allies
Americans and Opponents
The BBC's In Our Time programme discusses the Spanish Armada in detail.

Robert Falcon Scott
Podcast from the ODNB

Further Reading
Plymouth: A Pictorial History (Pictorial History Series)
by Guy Fleming

Plymouth: A New History
by C. Gill

Lost Plymouth: Hidden Heritage of Three Towns
by Felicity Goodall

Blackshirts in Devon
by Todd Gray

A History of Plymouth
by Llewellynn Jewitt

Secret memoirs of Robert, Count de Paradès containing an account of his successful transactions, as a spy in England, with the real causes of the failure of the ever memorable expedition against Plymouth, in 1779
by Comte de Parade

Bloody British History Plymouth
by Laura Quigley

Victorian Plymouth
by Chris Robinson

Plymouth from Old Photographs
by Derek Tait

Aviation in South West Britain 1909-1979
by Dennis Teague

by F W Woodward

Stephen Johnson has gathered together a fantastic range of images and photographs of all aspects of Plymouth's history.

Victorian Forts Society
This page has excellent datasheets about all the forts in and around Plymouth.

Plymouth Data
Brian Moseley has put together an impressive encyclopedia of Plymouth's history.

Bere Ferrers' 1917 Railway Tragedy
This site gives a good overview of the tragic events surrounding the accident that killed 9 New Zealand soldiers in 1917.


Plymouth Hoe, 1924

Devonport, 1924

Barbican, 1924

Old Pictures

Plymouth, 1930s

Plymouth Blitz

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by Stephen Luscombe