A zoom talk by Martin Read on Thursday 22nd April 2021 at 6pm. 

What did Plymouth look like when the Mayflower and Speedwell put down their anchors in the Cattewater ahead of their epic voyage across the Atlantic? This illustrated talk will examine how the integration of documentary, archaeological and cartographic evidence can help to show what the settlement looked like at the time of their visit. After the passage of the Spanish Armada, it was realised that the town was weakly defended, and this resulted in the building of a fort on the Hoe (a predecessor to the Citadel) to protect the anchorage and gates and other defences around the town. Particular attention will be paid to the development of these defences, the waterfront, merchant houses, civic buildings like the Guildhall, and tidemills, as well as some trades, such as rope-making.  

Martin Read is a maritime archaeologist and lecturer in Plymouth University. He has worked for, amongst others, English Heritage, the Mary Rose Trust and York Archaeological Trust. His research interests include ropemaking, hulk recording and investigating wrecks such as the East Indiaman Dutton in Plymouth Sound. For over 10 years he has been the Government Licensee of the Tudor Protected Cattewater Wreck, researching this site with help from Historic England and Plymouth City Museum.

Further Reading:  

1620 in Plymouth

Plymouth 1620. A guide to the principal attractions and history of the port

Mayflower – The Virtual 1620 Experience   

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