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city and unitary authority (1991 pop. 238,583), SW England, on Plymouth Sound. The three towns that Plymouth has comprised since 1914 are Plymouth, Stonehouse, and Devonport; the suburbs of Plympton and Plymstock were added to the city in 1967. Modern Plymouth is well situated, mostly on a peninsula between the estuaries of the Plym and Tamar rivers. The southern waterfront and adjacent promenade are called the Hoe. The city is an important port and naval base. Foodstuffs and raw materials are imported, and manufactures such as machine tools, precision instruments, and chemicals are exported. Other items traded are granite, marble, kaolin, and fish. In Stonehouse is a Royal Naval Hospital (1762). The Royal Marine Barracks and Naval Dockyard (1691) are in Devonport.

In 1588 the port was the rendezvous of the anti-Armada fleet. From there Sir Francis Drake, Sir Richard Hawkins, Sir Walter Raleigh, and several later explorers set forth. It was the last port touched by the Mayflower before its American voyage. Plymouth was held by the parliamentarians for four years during the civil war, when the rest of Devon and Cornwall were royalist. The first English factory to make Chinese porcelain was established in Plymouth in 1768. A tablet commemorates the arrival in 1919 of the first transatlantic airplane.

Among the principal points of interest on the Hoe are the old Royal Citadel (17th cent.), the upper part of Smeaton's lighthouse brought from EddystoneEddystone
, lighthouse, 135 ft (41 m) high, on dangerous rocks in the English Channel, S of Plymouth, SW England. It is the fourth lighthouse on the site (the first was begun in 1696) built between 1878 and 1882 and designed by James Douglas.
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, an Armada memorial, and a naval war memorial. Also noteworthy are the marine-biological laboratories, the aquarium, the City Museum and Art Gallery, the Gothic guildhall, several 15th-, 16th-, and 17th-century churches, and the Roman Catholic cathedral. The Royal Naval Engineering College is in Devonport, and technical and teacher-training schools are located in Plymouth.


1 Uninc. town (1990 pop. 45,608), seat of Plymouth co., SE Mass., on Plymouth Bay; founded 1620. Diverse light manufacturing is important to the economy. The town, with summer resort facilities and major historic attractions, has a large tourist industry. Its harbor, now used by fishing boats and leisure craft, was the scene of the famous landing by the Pilgrims in 1620, and Plymouth was the first permanent European settlement in New England (see PilgrimsPilgrims,
in American history, the group of separatists and other individuals who were the founders of Plymouth Colony. The name Pilgrim Fathers is given to those members who made the first crossing on the Mayflower.
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; Plymouth ColonyPlymouth Colony,
settlement made by the Pilgrims on the coast of Massachusetts in 1620. Founding

Previous attempts at colonization in America (1606, 1607–8) by the Plymouth Company, chartered in 1606 along with the London Company (see Virginia Company), were
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). Most famous of its many monuments is Plymouth Rock, returned to its original site in 1880; according to legend, the Pilgrims stepped on this boulder when disembarking from the Mayflower. The Mayflower II, a replica of the original ship, is moored there. The sites of the first houses are marked by tablets on Leyden St., the first street laid out by the Pilgrims. A number of 17th-century houses on nearby streets are maintained as museums. Cole's Hill and Burial Hill contain graves of many of the first settlers, and Pilgrim Hall has numerous valuable relics. Near the site of the original village is the 80-ft (24-m) granite National Monument to the Forefathers (1889). Nearby Plimoth Plantation is a re-creation of the early settlement. The town also has a wax museum and a marine museum and aquarium. Myles Standish State Forest is to the south.


See E. A. Stratton, Plymouth Colony (1987).

2 Village (1990 pop. 50,889), Hennepin co., SE Minn., NW of Minneapolis; inc. 1955. There is diversified manufacturing in Plymouth, which is a rapidly growing residential suburb of the twin cities of Minneapolis–St. Paul.



a city in Great Britain, in Devonshire, on the Cornish peninsula. Situated on the English Channel, where the Plym River empties into Plymouth Sound. Population, 251,000 (1974). One of Britain’s shipbuilding centers, Plymouth is a major fishing port. The Marine Biological Laboratories and an aquarium are located in Plymouth.

Plymouth was founded in the 12th century. In the 14th century it became an important commercial and military port. In the 16th century it was a point of departure for English colonial expansion in North America and Asia. With the development of shipbuilding in Plymouth in the 19th and 20th centuries, the city became an important center of the workers’ movement.


1. a port in SW England, in Plymouth unitary authority, SW Devon, on Plymouth Sound (an inlet of the English Channel): Britain's chief port in Elizabethan times; the last port visited by the Pilgrim Fathers in the Mayflower before sailing to America; naval base; university (1992). Pop.: 243 795 (2001).
2. a unitary authority in SW England, in Devon. Pop.: 241 500 (2003 est.). Area: 76 sq. km (30 sq. miles)
3. a city in SE Massachusetts, on Plymouth Bay: the first permanent European settlement in New England; founded by the Pilgrim Fathers. Pop.: 54 109 (2003 est.)
References in periodicals archive ?
The popular youngster was taken to hospital where she died from the serious injuries she suffered in the freak incident at the council-owned end-of-terrace home in Bulteel Gardens, Plymouth, Devon.
Mrs Horsell, from Plymouth, Devon, said: "The car suddenly ground to a halt.
Three men and one woman were arrested in Plymouth, Devon, between Friday and Sunday after police found imitation firearms, makeshift explosives and "political literature".
Barry Rowe and Rebecca Hoynes were killed when their Subaru estate careered off the road and hit a grass bank in Plymouth, Devon.
The boy, who has not been named, was rescued by an inshore lifeboat at the Barbican in Plymouth, Devon.
The 14-year-old, who has not been named, was tombstoning - jumping into water from height - in the Fishers Nose area of the Barbican in Plymouth, Devon.
He was taken to hospital with a stomach wound after the incident in Plymouth, Devon, just before 6.
The incident is alleged to have taken place outside the Candy Store nightclub in Plymouth, Devon at 4.
The incident which led to the charges is alleged to have taken place outside the Candy Store nightclub in Plymouth, Devon, at 4.
The boat was taking guests to a reception on board warship HMS Bulwark, which was moored off Plymouth, Devon.
Police moved in at the fish market in Plymouth, Devon, on Thursday, as the huge 9ft-long, 264lb fish, went to auction.
Charles was visiting Plymouth, Devon, to launch a new project to manage the south west's fishing fleets named Invest in Fish.