The Barbican

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Plymouth, England

The Barbican Plymouth Reviews

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564 reviews
Ancient and Modern Aug 15, 2010
For me the Barbican does recall boyhood but it was amazingly different. I found it hard to grasp how much it had changed when we went to prepare ny father's house for sale in 1973. It has gone on changing since.

At that time it was a very poor area, where the local lads swam in oily water. Sometimes a lad would walk into a cafe to try to sell a crab they had just caught. My parents and grandparents used to talk about how much it had already changed before that. The 'spit and sawdust' pubs had largely gone.

However then as now there were some interesting places: the fish market with its auctions; the Mayflower Steps, beloved by American tourists, from which the Pilgrim Fathers finally left England. (They did not mean to - they sailed from Portsmouth and had to put into Plymouth for repairs.)

Before that it was the area from which Sir Francis Drake sailed. Plymouth was an amalgum of three towns; Sutton, Devonport and Stonehouse. Sutton Pool is immediately adjacent to the Barbican. On the other side, although it may be technically outside the Barbican is the Royal Citadel and the Aquarium. The citadel was supposedly built to protect the city against invasion in the time of Charles II. Try counting the gun turrets facing out to see and those facing the city and you won't get a prize for guessing which side Plymouth supported in the Civil War!
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photo by: pacovera