Plymouth is a city located in the south-west of the UK on the south coast of Devon on the border with Cornwall, about 190 miles south-west of London. Plymouth is home to over 250,000 people (the 15th most populous city in England), has an area of 30.6 sq miles and at it's highest point rise to155 metres above sea level.
Historically Plymouth was located between the River Plym and the River Tamar where they flow into Plymouth Sound. However in recent years Plymouth has also included the suburbs of Plymstock and Plympton, which are located to the east of the River Plym.
The Sound and the lower river valley and estuaries around Plymouth are a classic example of a drowned river valley system. The two main river valleys are incised on both flanks by east-west running valleys, which typically resulted in creeks at the confluence with the main rivers. These creeks are less prominent today as many have been filled in and reclaimed by both man and natural processes. Such reclaimed creeks are found at Lipson, Stonehouse and Weston Mill.
The site where Plymouth is located was first settled in the Bronze Age, when a settlement was founded at Mount Batten. Mount Batten was the main point of settlement in the area until the more prosperous village of Sutton, the modern Plymouth, surpassed it. During the English Civil War the town was held by the Parliamentarians and was besieged by Royalists between 1642 and 1646. The After the restoration construction began on the Royal Citadel began and it was armed with cannon facing both out to sea and into the town. It is rumoured that this was done as a reminder to the local population that they should not oppose the Crown.
During the Industrial Revolution the port at Plymouth expanded and began handling imports and passengers from the Americas as well as construction of ships for the Royal Navy. Plymouth's Naval facilities led to it being targeted by the Luftwaffe during World War II and it's partial destruction in what became known as the Plymouth Blitz. After the war the centre of Plymouth centre was completely rebuilt.
Today, Plymouth's economy is still grounded in shipbuilding, but it has become a more service-based economy in the last 20 years. It has a large university, the University of Plymouth, and the largest operational naval base in Western Europe - HMNB Devonport. Plymouth has direct rail links to London, easy road access to the rest of the UK via the A38 and M5, ferry links to France and Spain and an airport with international services.
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