History

Resources

SHIPS Project

SHIPS Project

 

Plymouth Maritime History Timeline

Year Event Monarch War
c. 2500BC Bronze age settlement at the head of Sutton Pool    
c. 450BC Iron age settlements on Mount Batten    
60 Roman fort built at Calstock    
120 Roman fort at Calstock no longer in use    
9th C Plymouth known as Tamarworth, 'the island of the Tamar'    
877 Viking fleet wrecked on Mount Batten    
  The town of Sutton or 'Sudtone' established    
997 Vikings venture up the river Tamar as far as 'Liddyford' (Lydford)    
11th C Plymouth develops as a fishing village    
1066 Norman invasion of England William I  
1154   Henry II  
1189   Richard I  
1199   John  
1211 The name 'Plym Mouth' first used, mentioned in the Pipe Rolls    
1216   Henry III  
1254 Charter granted to Plymouth to be a market town    
1272   Edward I  
1307   Edward II  
1327   Edward III  
1337 Start of the Hundred Years War   Hundred Years War
1339 French fleet of 18 galleys and pinnaces attacks and burns houses in Plymouth    
1347 Start of the Black Death pandemic    
1348 Edward, Prince of Wales, makes Plymouth his headquarters for his campaign against France    
1362 The first wreck recorded in Plymouth, the Tarrit    
1377 Plymouth attacked and burnt by the French Richard II  
1399   Henry IV  
1400 Plymouth attacked and burnt by the French    
1403 Plymouth attacked and burnt by the French, led by Sieur du Chastel of St Malo    
1413  

Henry V

 
1422   Henry VI  
1453 End of the Hundred Years War   Hundred Years War
1461   Edward IV  
1470   Henry VI  
1471   Edward IV  
1483   Edward V  
1483   Richard III  
1485   Henry VII  
1488

Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias round the Cape of Good Hope

   
1492 Colombus rediscovers the Americas for Spain    
1497 Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama sails to India    
1509   Henry VIII  
1519 Ferdinand Magellan's expedition leaves to complete the first circumnavigation of the Earth    
1537 Defences of Plymouth increased by the order of Henry VIII, including Fishers Nose, the Artillery Tower and St Nicholas Is.    
1540 Francis Drake born at Tavistock    
1540 (c) The Cattewater Wreck sunk in the Cattewater    
1547   Edward VI  
1553   Mary I  
1558   Elizabeth I  
1577 Start of Drake's expedition to the Pacific coast of the Americas    
1585 Start of the Anglo-Spanish War   Anglo-Spanish War
1588 Spanish Armada passes Plymouth    
1598 Building work completed building a Fort above the Barbican    
1600 English East India Company founded    
1602 Dutch East India Company (VOC) founded    
1603   James I  
1604 End of the Anglo-Spanish War   Anglo-Spanish War
1616 Danish East India Company founded    
1620 The Mayflower leaves Plymouth for America    
1625   Charles I  
1628 Portuguese East India Company founded    
1637 English East Indiaman Palsgrave lost on Drake's Island    
1642 Start of the English Civil War    
1643 First attack on Plymouth by the Royalist army from Cornwall in the English Civil War   English Civil War
1646 Siege of Plymouth lifted    
1649 Execution of Charles I    
1651 End of the English Civil War   English Civil War
1652 Start of the First Anglo-Dutch War   Anglo-Dutch War
1653   Oliver Cromwell  
1654 End of the First Anglo-Dutch War   Anglo-Dutch War
1654 Start of the Anglo-Spanish War   Anglo-Spanish War
1658   Richard Cromwell  
1660 End of the Anglo-Spanish War   Anglo-Spanish War
1660 Charles II reclaims the throne of England Charles II  
1665 The Great Plague of London    
1665 Start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War   Anglo-Dutch War
1665 Building of the Citadel begins on the Hoe    
1667 End of the Anglo-Dutch War   Anglo-Dutch War
1671 King Charles II inspects the Citadel    
1672 Start of the Third Anglo-Dutch War   Anglo-Dutch War
1674 End of the Third Anglo-Dutch War   Anglo-Dutch War
1685   James II  
1688 William, Prince of Orange, lands at Brixham and his fleet is welcomed into Plymouth Sound    
1688 Start of the Nine Years War   Nine Years War
1689   William III  
1689 HMS Henrietta and HMS Centurion wrecked on Mount Batten    
1689 Devonport selected as the major base for the Royal Navy in the south-west    
1691 HMS Coronation wrecked off Penlee Point and HMS Harwich sunk in the Barn Pool    
1697 End of the Nine Years War   Nine Years War
1699 Winstanley completes the first Eddystone lighthouse    
1702 Start of the War of the Spanish Succession Queen Anne Spanish Succession
1703 The Great Storm    
1703 Eddystone lighthouse destroyed in the Great Storm, along with Winstanley    
1707 Kingdom of Great Britain formed    
1713 End of the War of the Spanish Succession   Spanish Succession
1714   George I  
1717 Start of the War of the Quadruple Alliance   Quadruple Alliance
1720 End of the War of the Quadruple Alliance   Quadruple Alliance
1721 VOC ship Aagtekerke wrecked in Bovisand Bay    
1725 VOC ship Astrea wrecked in Plymouth Sound    
1727   George II  
1736 Jonathan Hulls patents a steam towboat in Gloucestershire    
1740 Start of the War of Austrian Succession   Austrian Succession
1744 HMS Victory foundered in the Channel    
1748 End of the War of Austrian Succession   Austrian Succession
1754 Start of the Seven Years War   Seven Years War
1755 Rudyerd's Eddystone lighthouse destroyed by fire    
1758 The turnpike road from London to Plymouth is completed    
1759 Smeaton's stone lighthouse completed on the Eddystone    
1760 HMS Conqueror wrecked on Drakes Island George III  
1762 A third dry dock, the North Dock, was built in the dockyard    
1763 End of the Seven Years War   Seven Years War
1771 Iron knees stared to be fitted to wooden ships    
1773 The first bridge was built over Stonehouse Creek linking Plymouth with Plymouth Dock    
1774 Mr Day and the Maria make a one-way trip to the bottom of Drake Channel    
1774 The roundhouse of HMS Kent was blown up whilst at anchor in the Sound    
1775 Start of the American War of Independence   American War of Independence
1779 A combined Franco-Spanish fleet of 60 ships arrives in Cawsand Bay but left without firing a shot    
1781 HMS Echo wrecked in the Cattewater    
1783 End of the American War of Independence   American War of Independence
1786 Die Frau Metta Catharina von Flensburg sunk in the Barnpool    
1788 First plan to build a breakwater across Plymouth Sound proposed by William Smith    
1789 French Revolution    
1791 The ferry from Plymouth Dock to Torpoint began operating    
1792 Start of the French Revolutionary Wars   Revolutionary Wars
1793 Coates family begin distilling Plymouth Gin in the former Black Friars monastery    
1795 Marshland at Laira was drained and Embankment Road built    
1796 HMS Amphion blew up in the Hamoaze    
1796 English East Indiaman Dutton wrecked on the Hoe    
1798 HMS Pallas wrecked in Jennycliff Bay    
1800 Dutch East India Company (VOC) dissolved    
1802 End of the French Revolutionary Wars   Revolutionary Wars
1802 The first working paddle steam ship Charlotte Dundas tested on the Clyde canal    
1803 Start of the Napoleonic Wars   Napoleonic Wars
1804 HMS Fearless wrecked on Redding Point    
1807 The first commercial steamboat, the Clermont, launched    
1808 HMS Crane wrecked on the Hoe    
1811 HMS Amethyst wrecked in Jennycliff Bay    
1812 Start of the War of 1812   War of 1812
1812 Building of the Breakwater started by John Rennie    
1812 The prize Arrow taken to Plymouth and made into HMS Whiting    
1813 HMS Captain burnt at her moorings in the Hamoaze    
1814 The Demologos, the first steam powered warship launched    
1815 End of the Napoleonic Wars, Battle of Waterloo   Napoleonic Wars
1815 End of the War of 1812   War of 1812
1815 The Thames steam boat arrives in Plymouth on its way to London, 'rapidly gliding on without masts or sails'    
1817 HMS Jasper and HMS Telegraph were wrecked in the Sound    
1819 The Vulcan passenger barge launched, the first all iron hulled ship    
1819 Paddle steamer Savannah crosses the Atlantic    
1820   George IV  
1821 The Aaron Manby launched, the first steamship to be built of iron    
1823 Plymouth Dock changes its name to Devonport    
1824 Work on the Victualling Yard at Stonehouse was started    
1827 Laira Bridge was opened    
1830   William IV  
1833 The Royal Navy starts experimenting with steam engines in its ships    
1835 Building work on the Victualling Yard was completed at a cost of £700,000    
1837   Victoria  
1843 Brunel's Great Britain launched, the first ocean going propeller driven iron ship    
1844 The Breakwater was completed, using 3,500,000 tons of stone and rubble    
1845 Work started building Fort Bovisand, designed to mount twelve 18 pounder guns    
1852 The brig Ocean Queen wrecked on the Mewstone    
1853 Start of the Crimean War   Crimean War
1854 Paddlesteamer Ajax wrecked on the Mewstone Ledge    
1856 End of the Crimean War   Crimean War
1859 The first ocean going ironclad battleship Gloire launched    
1867 Work started building the Breakwater fort on the stump of Shovel Rock    
1874 English East India Company dissolved    
1877 Steamship Rothesay wrecked on the Mewstone    
1878 Work starts on Mount Batten Breakwater in April    
1884 The Promenade Pier built on the Hoe    
1888 Steam ship Constance wrecked on the Shagstone    
1890 Steam tug Lucy rammed and sunk in Jennycliff Bay    
1901   Edward VII  
1905 Submarine A8 sinks off the Knap Buoy and was successfully salvaged    
1910   George V  
1912 Vectis wrecked on Andurn Point, south of Bovisand Bay    
1912 The Selandia, the first diesel powered ocean going ship was launched    
1913 Hopper Barge #42 wrecked twice on the Breakwater    
1914 The three towns of Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport incorporated into the County Borough of Plymouth    
1914 HM Submarine A7 founders off Rame Head    
1914 Start of the First World War   World War I
1916 Armed trawler Abelard lost on the Breakwater    
1917 SS Rosehill sunk by UB40 in Whitsand Bay    
1917 HMS Foyle sunk under tow after hitting a mine    
1918 The end of the First World War   World War I
1934 Steam Trawler Chancellor wrecked in Whitsand Bay    
1936   Edward VIII  
1936   George VI  
1939 The start of the Second World War   World War II
1940 Poulmic sunk by a mine off the breakwater    
1940 HMT Elk sunk by a mine south of the breakwater    
1940 MFV Encourage sunk by a mine south of the breakwater    
1940 Armed trawler Kingston Alalite sunk in Plymouth Sound    
1941 Armed trawler Asama lost in Plymouth Sound    
1942 Sunderland flying boat W6054 lost in the Sound    
1942 Messerschmitt ME109 crashed in Cawsand Bay    
1943 Lancaster bomber ED450 crashed onto the Breakwater    
1944 Sunderland flying boat DD852 wrecked in Jennycliff Bay    
1945 Liberty ship SS James Eagan Layne sunk in Whitsand Bay    
1945 SS Persier sunk in Bigbury Bay    
1945 The end of the Second World War   World War II
1952   Elizabeth II  
1953 The British Sub-Aqua Club formed    
1964 The paddle steamer Totnes Castle foundered in Bigbury Bay    
1967

Coronation Inshore site found by Terry Harrison, Alan Down and George Sandford

   
1967 Terence Lamb discovered the Millbay Cannon site    
1968 Ramscliff Cannon site found    
1969 The S.S. Persier was discovered    
1969 Mewstone Ledge cannon site discovered by Richard Middlewood    
1970 Plymouth Ocean Projects take over Fort Bovisand and open a diving centre    
1970 Glen Strathallan scuttled off the Shagstone    
1970 HMS Foyle first dived by Kingston BSAC    
1973 The Metta Catharina was found in the Barn Pool by Plymouth Sound BSAC    
1977 Coronation Offshore site discovered by Peter McBride    
1981 HMT Elk located and dived    
1982 The brig Taxiarchos found by Dave Peake    
1984 The Fylrix capsised and sank in Jennycliff Bay    
1994 Paddle steamer Totnes Castle rediscovered    
1995 Plymouth Maritime Archaeological Interest Group (PMARIG) formed    
1995 Pilot cutter Tavy scuttled off the Breakwater Fort by PMARIG    
1996 Trawler Viking Princess foundered off Hilsea Point    
1999 Sean McTierney and John Coyne form the Underwater Archaeological Club in Plymouth    
2004 HMS Scylla scuttled off Whitsand Bay by Plymouth Marine Aquarium    
2006 Totnes BSAC adopt the S.S.Rosehill under the NAS Adopt a Wreck scheme    
2006 Metta Catharina project by Plymouth Sound BSAC completed    
2008 BATSAC adopt the Liberty ship S.S. James Eagan Layne    
2009 The SHIPS Project started    
2011 Aquanauts adopt the Glen Strathallan and the Oregon    
2011 The SHIPS Project adopt the wreck of the Poulmic    
2012 Plymouth Diving Centre adopt the Mewstone Ledge site and the Totnes Castle    

email If you can provide more information about this then please contact us.