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24 September 2014

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You are in: Devon > History > History features > Plymouth's Historic Barbican

A photo from the book

The Barbican in Plymouth

Plymouth's Historic Barbican

A new book looks at how the efforts of preservationists down the years helped to save Plymouth's historic Barbican area from demolition.

Did you know that Plymouth's Barbican area has the largest concentration of cobbled streets in Britain?

And that despite Luftwaffe bombs and 'modernisation' schemes by the city council, there are still 100 listed buildings in the Barbican?

The Barbican is now recognised as the jewel in Plymouth's crown - but if it hadn't been for the dedication of local preservationists, much of the area would probably have been lost to redevelopment.

An aerial shot of the Barbican, pre-1930s

An aerial shot of the Barbican, pre-1930s

Some of it has been lost as a result of redevelopment - but much remains.

Plymouth's Historic Barbican is a new book by local historian and publisher, Chris Robinson. It was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Plymouth Barbican Association, which has worked to preserve this historic part of Elizabethan Plymouth.

The book features photographs of buildings which have been destroyed, as well as those which remain.

"More ancient buildings were pulled down by the authorities in the 1930s and 1950s than were destroyed by the Luftwaffe during the 1940s."

The story of the historic Barbican is told through photos, with information about campaigns by local people to prevent planned redevelopment.

Such campaigns date back to the early 20th century and the Astor family added their voice in the 1920s before the Plymouth Barbican Association was formed in 1957.

Chris said: "If it hadn't been for the Barbican Association, it would all have been bulldozed. The Barbican wouldn't be the honeypot it is today."

last updated: 18/02/2008 at 16:23
created: 30/11/2007

You are in: Devon > History > History features > Plymouth's Historic Barbican

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