History Articles

Archive insight: Plymouth and the tale of a Brazilian pirate ship | The Box Plymouth
History - Oct 2022

Archive insight: Plymouth and the tale of a Brazilian pirate ship

The Box’s archives are home to many forgotten stories from Plymouth’s past. Here we explore the events surrounding Brazilian pirate slavers who were captured by the Royal Navy and transported to Plymouth for trial. This story is recorded in documents from our archives, some of which are on display in the Active Archives gallery.

Behind The Scenes: Uncovering past lives at Mount Folly | The Box Plymouth
History - Sep 2022

Behind The Scenes: Uncovering past lives at Mount Folly

Since 2003, the 'Mount Folly Enclosures Project' near Bigbury-on-Sea has been uncovering evidence of past lives. The project is one of the largest community excavations in southern England, and a variety of artefacts have been discovered.

Happy 40th to Theatre Royal Plymouth | The Box Plymouth
History - Sep 2022

Happy 40th to Theatre Royal Plymouth

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the Theatre Royal, Plymouth (TRP) which is enjoying a month of celebrations until mid-October - but did you know that today’s building is the fourth of that name in Plymouth?

Refreshed Mayflower Museum is ready to open | The Box Plymouth
Press Release - Jul 2022

Refreshed Mayflower Museum is ready to open

The Mayflower Museum on Plymouth’s Barbican has re-opened ready for the summer following a major overhaul of its displays led by a team from The Box.

Making our 100 Journeys gallery more inclusive
History - Jul 2022

Making our 100 Journeys gallery more inclusive

The 100 Journeys gallery explores historic and ongoing voyages from Plymouth and showcases our world cultures, art, and archival collections in displays themed around specific journeys. We've been reviewing our displays to ensure that they are more inclusive and representative of more people. This work forms part of our commitment to anti-racism and decolonising our collections.

The Van Dike organisation and Greg Vandike | The Box Plymouth
History - Jul 2022

Countless bands, thousands of gigs and one family in Plymouth

Michele and Lauren Vandike share the story of The Van Dike organisation, Greg Vandike, and their family's longstanding relationship with the city's music scene.

Platinum Jubilee Photography Competition | The Box Plymouth
History - May 2022

Platinum Jubilee Photography Competition

We’re running a photography competition to capture the 2022 Platinum Jubilee celebrations. You can get involved (and maybe win a great prize too!) by submitting an image that captures your experience.

Falklands 40: Thanksgiving Service Photo | The Box Plymouth
History - Mar 2022

Falklands 40: Thanksgiving Service Photo

40 years ago, on 2 April 1982, Argentinian forces invaded the Falkland Islands. Located in the South Atlantic, the islands are just 300 miles from the Argentinian mainland where they are known as the ‘Islas Malvinas’. They’d been a source of dispute between Britain and Argentina since the British first settled there in 1833.

Ernest Shackleton | The Box Plymouth
History - Mar 2022

Ernest Shackleton

Ernest Henry Shackleton is widely known as one of the most inspirational leaders of the twentieth century and a key figure in the ‘Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration’ alongside Roald Amundsen and Plymouth-born Robert Falcon Scott. The recent discovery of the Endurance, his ship that sank to the bottom of the Weddell Sea over a century ago, has amazed people around the world. Learn more about his story here.

When good music in the city was as easy as ABC | The Box Plymouth
History - Dec 2021

When good music in the city was as easy as ABC

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Plymouth hosted some of the biggest acts in music, from The Beatles to T-Rex and The Rolling Stones to Elton John. They all played in one of the few buildings in the city centre to survive the Blitz and subsequent rebuilding, the ABC Cinema on Athenaeum Place.

Educating Elau | The Box Plymouth
History - Oct 2021

Educating Elau

As part of Black History Month 2021, our Archivist uncovers the story of the first recorded Indigenous person to travel from Vanuatu to England. Her name was Elau and she was a seven year old girl from Erromango in the South Pacific.

The Box | Would you like to help research Plymouth and west Devon in the 1920s?
History - Oct 2021

Would you like to help research Plymouth and west Devon in the 1920s?

'Devon in the 1920s' is a research project hosted by Devon History Society in partnership with The Box, the South West Heritage Trust and the Devon Family History Society. Individual researchers and local heritage groups are currently beavering away, researching local people and places from the 1920s.