The Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth was built in 1690, although the naval importance of the city had been underlined when the English navy’s fleet set off for the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Royal Naval Dockyard remains today, and is the Royal Navy’s only nuclear repair facility.
The Port of Plymouth’s Millbay Docks have also seen their share of history, and 167 Titanic crew survivors arrived at Millbay in May 1912 after travelling home on the Red Star Liner Lapland. Imagine their relief at seeing the sight of the hoe as they approached land. The city has been the first sight of land for some of history's most famous figures, and Catherine of Aragon arrived at the port in 1501, and Pocahontas in 1616.
During the English Civil War Plymouth endured a prolonged siege from royalists between 1952 and 1946, after supporting parliament, and Millbay was the only harbour sheltered from the attacks and so the city’s sole supply route. Today, Plymouth's Barbican looks much as it did in its heyday (with the addition of a few more coffee shops!) and its cobbled streets and traditional inns are a nostalgic reminder of Plymouth's maritime significance.