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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 20:19 GMT 21:19 UK
City's planning history protected
History enthusiasts will soon be able to look at the plans of thousands of buildings in Plymouth after a 50,000 grant was awarded.

The Plymouth and West Devon Record Office has been given the money to catalogue more than 16,000 building control records dating back from 1851.

Some of the plans are all that remain of buildings either destroyed in the Blitz or built over.

The plans include Home Park Grandstand dating back to 1904.

Plans preserved

They also relate to business premises at Richmond Wharf from 1882, the Swilly Isolation Hospital, Drake's reservoir and a skating rink at Ebrington Street.

Some of the earlier documents feature beautiful copperplate handwriting and fine pen and ink drawings.

The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will be used to buy archive software but it will also allow archivists to assess, catalogue and preserve the plans.

The collection will also be shown through the City Museum's outreach team at schools and community centres.

City archivist Sam Johnston said: "Many people living in Plymouth will be able to look up their own homes.

"Some plans are quite minor such as outdoor toilets, but even they help paint an amazing social history of this city.

"There are also plenty of more unusual ones including Smeaton's Tower, the theatres that used to be dotted around the city, almshouses, workhouses and barracks that have helped shaped the city's rich history."

Some of the documents will eventually be available to be viewed online.

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