Getting the Mayflower trail in train

Giant brass totems telling the fascinating story of Plymouth and its incredible Mayflower connections could soon be installed along a trail in and around the Barbican.

A planning application has gone in this week to install nine 1.8 metre high monoliths at key locations, each with their own incredible story.

The trail is one of the key projects to mark Mayflower 400 and is designed to give visitors and local residents a glimpse of Plymouth in 1620, stopping at historic properties and streets.

If the monoliths are granted permission, they could be installed in the next few months. The trail starts at the Mayflower Steps and as well as the physical totems, a children’s activity pack is planned as well as school resources.

Deputy leader Peter Smith said: “This is the hardware for the trails. People will be able to walk around our amazing Barbican and read all about it! Clearly this is a historic area, so the monoliths have been designed to take this into account.”

Which buildings are earmarked to have a totem nearby include:

  • Prysten House (Grade I) – a merchant’s house built in the 15th century. The totem is part of a wider project to transform a tired corner into a public square area with granite paving and an Elizabethan Garden pattern marked out with cobbles.New trees will be planted and street furniture installed.
    The Church of St Andrew (Grade I) – the largest parish church in Devon and visited by Elizabethan seafarers including Drake and Hawkins, Architect John Foulston was involved in restoration work in 1826 and by Sir Glbert Scott in 1875.
  • West Pier (Grade II) – origins date back to the 1600s and is believed to be where the Pilgrims departed on the Mayflower. Numerous plaques reference other historic events including the departure of ‘the Tory’ that led the colonisation of New Zealand, the arrival of the American seaplane N.C.4 in 1919, the landing of Tolpuddle Martyrs after exile in Australia
  • Fish Market (Grade II) – built on reclaimed land signed by Sir James Inglis, engineer to Great Western Railway
  • The Parade (Grade II) – which includes 1-4 Barbican Court, a former early 19th century warehouse, incorporating remains of an earlier 17th century merchant’s house.
  • 94, Vauxhall Street (Grade II) a warehouse, combined with a former account house was built in early 19th century – a rare survival of an unusual building type nationally.

As well as these physical installations, there is an interactive Plymouth Trails app and with self-guided trails around the city. The Plymouth Trails app will be available to download for free on both Apple and Android devices partners.