Royal Citadel
Royal Citadel
A 17th-century military fort built to counter the threat from Dutch naval forces. The Citadel is still used by the military today, so opening times are limited. The earliest fortification here was a 16th-century artillery emplacement. That first fort was known as Drake's Fort or Plymouth Fort, and was built to counter the threat of a Spanish invasion.

The fort was composed of a chapel, storehouse, baracks, stables, guardhouse, powder store, and captain's lodging. In the following century Drake's Fort was expanded and incorporated into a much larger bastioned artillery fort with earthwork defences.

In 1665 work began under the supervision of Sir Bernard de Gomme to create the present Citadel. De Gomme's design called for a six bastioned fort with earthworks. New features included a guardhouse, Great Store, Governor's House, and Lieutenant-Governor's House.

The Citadel was accessed via a grand Baroque entrance designed by Sir Thomas Fitch, which is accounted one of the finest such designs in England.

The fort overlooks the entrance to Cattewater and Plymouth Sound. Access is by guided tour only. Tours are led by registered Blue Badge Guides. Discounted entry to English Heritage members.