Barbican, Plymouth


Barbican, Plymouth

The Barbican is the name now given to the western and northern sides of the old harbour area of Plymouth, Devon, England. It was one of the few parts of the city to escape most of the destruction of The Blitz during the Second World War. Two or three streets still retain some of the architecture of an old fishing port.

History

The present Barbican district is generally regarded as being roughly equivalent to the location and size of the medieval walled town of Sutton. A "barbican" is a fortified gate, and here the name probably derives from the 'Castle Barbican' which was an entrance to the late medieval fortress that guarded access to the Cattewater, prior to the building of the Royal Citadel.

For centuries the Barbican was home to Plymouth's fish market (now relocated to the other side of the harbour) and is still home to many fishermen. The oldest street in Plymouth running along the south of the Barbican is now called New Street, it was formerly called Rag Street.

Much historical research and outreach work is done by the Old Plymouth Society, and many of the oldest surviving buildings were restored and are still owned and maintained by the Plymouth Barbican Association. However many old and significant buildings were demolished during the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries.

Places of interest

Places of interest in the Barbican include the National Marine Aquarium (technically in Coxside) which is one of the larger aquariums in Britain and has one of the deepest tanks in Europe; the Elizabethan House, an old house built in the early 16th century, now used as a museum; the Mayflower Steps near where the Pilgrims finally set off in the Mayflower for the New World in 1620, which is described in the nearby visitors' centre; and the studio gallery of the late painter and eccentric Robert Lenkiewicz, who lived and worked on the Barbican for many years deriving much of his inspiration and income from the local community.

The Barbican also contains a variety of shops and businesses - including the Barbican Theatre, retail art galleries, the Plymouth Gin Distillery, the Dolphin Inn, numerous bars and eating places including Cap'n Jaspers burger bar, and a gypsy fortune teller.

Culture

The Barbican boasts some underground culture, from live music to Stone Soup Story Tellers evenings and festivals. The promenade of the Parade, shown above, paved with the traditional granite setts, is now filled by seating in glass-sided enclosures with large square umbrellas and infra-red heaters providing all-weather space for drinkers and smokers. It is not an easy thoroughfare and is no longer like the photo. It attracts numbers of heavy drinkers whom council and police have tried to contain using 'designated area and dispersal zone' orders.

Developments

The harbour was enclosed by a lock in 1995, designed both to provide a constant adequate depth of water for fishing and pleasure craft and to reduce the risk of flood damage being caused to low-lying property. In the same year, the 1890s Victorian fish market at the eastern end of Southside St was closed and the modern fish market opened across Sutton Harbour at Coxside. This has been very successful and the auctions are some of the busiest on the south coast. There is much activity around the market quay as trawlers and small fishing boats arrive to offload their catches.

During the last two decades accelerating developments have taken place around most of Sutton Pool area. This has mostly involved the building of distinctive modern style waterside blocks of flats which have prevented the realisation of David Mackay's plan for a seafront 'gateway' from Sutton Pool into the city centre which would have required the clearing of many of the few remaining historical streets and the redevelopment of Bretonside Bus Station. There has also been adverse comment about the recent extension of the many marina pontoons severely limiting the area of open water.

External links

* [http://www.inplymouth.com/tourplymouth-barbican.html Barbican Visitors' Guide]
* [http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/homepage/leisureandtourism/libraries/whatsinyourlibrary/lns/barbicanarchive.htm Plymouth City Council - Barbican Archive]
* [http://swib.wikidot.com/ South West image Bank (Plymouth Barbican Association)]

References

Plymouth's Historic Barbican - Chris Robinson - Pen & Ink Publishing (with Plymouth Barbican Association) 2007


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Barbican — steht für Barbican (Plymouth), Hafengebiet, Ortslage in Plymouth, England Bahnhof Barbican, eine Station von London Underground Barbican Centre, ein Londoner Kulturzentrum Barbican Estate, Hochhaussiedlung um das Barbican Centre in London… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Barbican (disambiguation) — Barbican may refer to:* Barbican, a fortified building * Barbican Estate, residential estate * Barbican Centre, performing arts center * Barbican station, London Underground * Barbican, Plymouth, England* Barbican (horse) * Barbican (comics) *… …   Wikipedia

  • Plymouth Gin Distillery — The Plymouth Gin Distillery in The Barbican, Plymouth, England has been in operation since 1793 and used to be a significant manufacturer of gin in the UK. Also known as the Black Friars Distillery, it is the only gin distillery in the city.The… …   Wikipedia

  • Plymouth Friary railway station — was the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) terminus in Plymouth, Devon, England.HistoryLondon and South Western Railway trains first arrived at Plymouth on 17 May 1876, entering the town from the east. To get there trains had travelled over… …   Wikipedia

  • Plymouth — This article is about the city in England. For the Massachusetts town, see Plymouth, Massachusetts. For the car brand, see Plymouth (automobile). For other uses, see Plymouth (disambiguation). Plymouth   City   City of… …   Wikipedia

  • Plymouth — City of Plymouth Plymouth, The Hoe Koordinaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Plymouth Sound — Location map|United Kingdom label= background=white lat=50.343 long= 4.143 caption=Map of the UK showing the location of Plymouth Sound at 50.343°N, 4.143°W (grid reference mmukscaled|SX4751|100|SX4751)coord|50.343|N|4.143|W|type:landmark|display …   Wikipedia

  • Culture of Plymouth — The culture of Plymouth is a social aspect of the unitary authority and city of Plymouth that is located in the south west of England. Built in 1815, Union Street was at the heart of Plymouth s historical culture.[1] It became known as the… …   Wikipedia

  • University of Plymouth — Plymouth University Motto Indagate Fingite Invenite (Explore, Dream, Discover) Established 1992, from Polytechnic South West Type …   Wikipedia

  • Dolphin Inn, Plymouth — Coordinates: 50°22′1.67″N 4°8′5.48″W / 50.3671306°N 4.1348556°W / 50.3671306; 4.1348556 The Dolphin Hotel is …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.