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City heritage

Mayflower Museum

Photograph showing a replica ship in a gallery spaceThe Mayflower Museum has recently undergone a revamp to better celebrate the story of Plymouth’s role in the Pilgrims’ epic journey to the New World. Two floors now explore the story of the Mayflower and the Pilgrim Fathers with information and hands-on displays, dress-up and role play themed interactives, a model of the Mayflower built by Devonport Dockyard apprentices in 1969 to 1970 and more. Visit the Mayflower Museum page to find out more.


Devonport Naval Heritage Centre

The Devonport Naval Heritage Centre records the development of The Dockyard and Plymouth’s pivotal role in supporting the Royal Navy through major conflicts since 1588, including two World Wars. Through its collection of over 100,000 artefacts in eight galleries covering 2,500 square metres of displays, interactive experiences and pictorial interpretation the drama of the close relationship of Devonport, the Royal Navy, The Dockyard and the people of Plymouth can be explored.

It is open by appointment to groups of visitors in the historic South Yard. Join with us in sharing, exploring and conserving the character and history of Devonport Naval Base and The Dockyard for the future. As well as tours by appointment, public open days are held at various times throughout the year and there are regular public visit sessions during the summer months.

Please visit the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre website, call 01752 552326 or email DevonportNavalHeritage@gmail.com for more information.


Devonport Park

Plymouth’s oldest formal park has recently undergone a massive restoration. Visit the Restoration of Devonport Park page to find out more about the work carried out. You can also download a ‘Discover Devonport Park’ leaflet.


Laira Heritage Trail

The Laira Heritage Trail is part of the Plym Estuary and stretches from the north of Laira Bridge to the A38 dual carriageway at Marsh Mills. Visit the Laira heritage trail page to see documents of the plaques that have been installed along the river and find out more about the interesting history of the area.


Blagdon’s Meadow

Blagdon’s Meadow is an area of grassland situated just off Embankment Road. Visit the Blagdon’s Meadow page to find out more about it and view documents of the information panels that are situated there.


Saltash Passage History Detective

Saltash Passage is situated on the Plymouth side of the River Tamar in St Budeaux, opposite Saltash. The name derives from the ferry route between Saltash and Plymouth that operated until crossings ceased in 1961. The area is full of intriguing history that you can learn about with the History Detective quiz.


St Aubyn’s Church (Devonport Library)

St Aubyn’s Church (Devonport Library) was built in 1768 and is now the home of Devonport Library. Read the document below to find out more about its fascinating history. The panels have been produced in partnership with Plymouth Library Services.

St Aubyn Library panels [PDF]


Plymouth Historical Plaques

Photograph showing a blue plaque on a wall for Scott of the AntarticPlaques add interest to the local built environment, and help local residents and visitors to understand the history and character of the city. We’ve been carrying out work to catalogue these and make information available online. Visit the Plymouth historical plaques page to find out more.


Boundary stones

Photograph showing a boundary stone with a crest incised into it.Boundary stones, mileposts and other markers add great interest to the local heritage landscape. We are working with the Old Plymouth Society and the Milestone Society to survey stones and markers in the city. The results of the survey are available in an online catalogue, and two trails around the city are also available to download. Visit the boundary stones page for more information on this project, which is funded by a ‘Your Stories’ Heritage Lottery Fund grant.


Plymouth to Pole: Plymouth’s Antarctic Connections

‘From Plymouth to Pole: Plymouth’s Antarctic Connections’ is an information leaflet funded by the Heritage Lottery. This leaflet was re-launched part in response to the popularity of the City Museum and Art Gallery’s ‘Scott 100’ exhibition in 2012. It celebrates Scott as local man and national hero, but also highlights other local individuals and locations associated with the ‘Heroic Age’. Just as importantly, the leaflet celebrates the City’s acquisition of the Scott’s Christening Cup – an important new legacy of Captain Scott.

Scott Plymouth to Pole leaflet [PDF]


Quarry Voices

Quarrying was a major part of Devon and Cornwall’s industrial history in the 20th century and has left a lasting legacy on the culture and landscape of the two counties. Quarry Voices was part of the Peninsula Quarry Industry Oral History Project, which has been exploring the history of the granite and limestone quarries of Cornwall and Devon. The project aims to add a new ‘human dimension’ to this history by recording the memories of the people who worked within, and lived alongside, the region’s quarries.