Kate and I went out this afternoon for a walk around Plympton St Maurice, a lovely, historical suburb of Plymouth. Our walk took us across Pathfields, an ancient open parkland which was the subject of Channel 4's Time Team a few years ago. We met a lovely lady with two labradors, one of which was called Muppet. Very prophetic. After passing the time of day with the lady and her dogs for a little while, we said our goodbyes, walked on, then stopped to take some photographs..... this was when I discovered that I'd left my memory card in the computer. What a muppet!!! So I largely spent my time watching Kate take photos - and then, when I could stand it no longer (and bearing in mind I needed something for this project!), I borrowed her camera to take some shots.
Plympton St Maurice became a borough in the 12th century, and from 1259 elected two members of Parliament. It was designated a Stannary Town in 1328, and tin miners from Southern Dartmoor brought their tin there for testing and weighing. There was a deep river which came up to the foot of the Castle so the tin could be transported around the world straight from the town. During the 13th and 14th century, Plympton St Maurice was bigger than Plymouth and far more important as a port. There is an old rhyme which goes "When Plympton was a Busy Vale, Plymouth was a fuzzy dale". However the life blood of Plympton soon became its poison, as the tin mines on Dartmoor produced a lot of silt which was washed down stream, causing the river to silt up, and took away the port. There is little evidence nowadays that there was a port here, except for the street names and the mooring points around Fore Street.
The image below is looking through the arched frontage of the Guildhall, which has stood on Fore Street since 1688 - although it is believed there has been a Guildhall on this spot since the 13th Century.