Charles Church remains as a memorial to the civilians who lost their lives in World War II. Walk the burned out hall and admire the remains of the towers. Read the commemorative plaque and find the memorials that survived the bombs.
The church was built during the 1600s and dedicated to King Charles the Martyr. Visit today and you’ll find the church largely ruined, burned out entirely by incendiary bombs during the night of March 20 to 21, 1941. Over the course of the Plymouth Blitz, 59 bombing attacks claimed the lives of 1,172 civilians and injured a further 4,448. Nearly every civic building was destroyed, along with an additional 41 churches, 26 schools, eight cinemas and both main shopping centers. The decision was made to leave the church largely unrestored. In 1958 a service was conducted by the parish vicar to dedicate the remains to the civilian deaths.
Find the ruins of the west tower, made of limestone and granite like its senior church, St. Andrews. Look for the two date stones which mark its construction, 1657 on the north side and 1708 on the south. See the housing of the east window, which was once highly elaborate and remarkable for a church of the time. Find the door that leads underneath the window, once boarded up but revealed again by the bombs.
The commemorative plaque on the north wall is dedicated to the citizens of Plymouth killed in the raids. See other memorials to parishioners who died long before the bombs fell. In the north aisle you’ll find a brass rectangular tablet dedicated to the memory of Admiral Robert Blake. Elsewhere in the church are memorials in marble and stone dated as far back as 1683.
Find Charles Church in Plymouth’s city center, near the Drake Circus Shopping Centre, just a short walk from the bus and train stations. The church is still used on occasion, both for memorial services and university carol concerts. Check in advance to see if any events are being held here during your visit.
Located in Beaumont, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Charles Church and Elizabethan House. Mayflower Steps and University of Plymouth are also within 15 minutes.
This family-friendly Plymouth hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of University of Plymouth and Charles Church. National Maritime Aquarium and National Marine Aquarium are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in the heart of Plymouth, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Smeaton's Tower, Plymouth Dome, and Elizabethan House. Royal Citadel and Mayflower Steps are also within 15 minutes.
Situated in Plymouth, this apartment is within a 10-minute walk of Charles Church, Elizabethan House, and Mayflower Steps. University of Plymouth and Smeaton's Tower are also within 15 minutes.
Located in the heart of Plymouth, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Royal Citadel, Elizabethan House, and Mayflower Steps. Smeaton's Tower and Plymouth Dome are also within 10 minutes.
Situated in Devonport, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Devonport Playhouse, Home Park, and Torpoint Ferry. Royal William Yard and University of Plymouth are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Situated in the historical district, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Elizabethan House, Mayflower Steps, and Royal Citadel. National Maritime Aquarium and National Marine Aquarium are also within 10 minutes.
Situated near the beach, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Smeaton's Tower, Plymouth Dome, and Elizabethan House. Mayflower Steps and Charles Church are also within 15 minutes.