Union Street, Plymouth

Union Street, Plymouth

Union Street, Plymouth

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Union Street in Plymouth, Devon, is a long straight street connecting the city centre to Devonport, the site of Plymouth's naval base and docks. Originally the home of wealthy people, it later became an infamous red-light district and the location of most of the city's night-life.


Designed by John Foulston, it was laid out between 1812 and 1820 as a grand boulevard to connect the three towns of Plymouth, East Stonehouse and Devonport. Today Union Street forms part of the A374.

For some years after its construction, Union Street was the home of the wealthy. According to a guidebook of 1823:

Despite its upper-class associations, Union Street was the location of the first outbreaks in Plymouth of cholera in the 1849 epidemic. At the time, these outbreaks in July of that year were believed to be caused by works connected with the new Millbay railway station, during which the drains of several houses had become blocked and their lower premises overflowed with sewage.

It was the continuing development along and around Union Street that led to the merger of the Three Towns in 1914, and the granting of Plymouth's city status in 1928.

Frequented by sailors from all over the world, it was once known as one of the West Country's most infamous streets and red-light districts. (account...
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