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Plymouth Town Wall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Sutton Pryour; Plymmuth

In the civil parish of Plymouth.
In the historic county of Devonshire.
Modern Authority of Plymouth; City of.
1974 county of Devon.
Medieval County of Devon.

OS Map Grid Reference: SX479544
Latitude 50.36976° Longitude -4.13986°

Plymouth Town Wall has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.

Description

The earliest defences for the town were a wall built in the 1530's extending Westwards from the Castle to add strength on the landward side of the Hoe. It extended as far as 'Little How Gate' at the South end of Castle Dyke Lane. Hoe Gate may have been created to give easier access from the town to the Hoe in the 1590's when the new fort was being built.
In 1643, the town was encompassed by a stone rampart and ditch, with six gates giving access to the surrounding district. By 1765, the wall had been demolished, but all gates barring the Coxside Gate remained. (PastScape ref. Pye and Woodward 1996)

C14 stone walls vanished. (Bond)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1404 Feb 6 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).
A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1439 Nov/Dec.

Comments

The single grant of murage in 1378 may not have resulted in much work. A licence to crenellate was granted to 'the King's lieges lately dwelling at Plymouth' in 1404. Nominally to make building fortifications easier a borough charter, with licence to crenellate, was granted by Parliament in 1439. Town was given large grants of money in 1463 and 1485 and walls may well have been started during the C15 rather than 1530. Leland reports that the then Bishop of Exeter had started to build a high strong wall next to the castle. A complete circuit is not shown on the 1540 plan but is shown, with stone rampart and ditch in Holler's 1643 plan. There were six town gates. The wall had been demolished by 1765.
Given map reference for parish church.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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