Today, geographically linking all three towns is the aptly named Union Street but its explicit reference to unity is very much taken for granted and arguably few Plymothians know or have any appreciation of the historic significance and strategic importance of this once renowned thoroughfare and its influential role on the cultural heritage of Plymouth and the Three Towns. By the mid-nineteenth century Union Street was notorious in epitomising the social problems associated with drunkenness and immoral behaviour across the three towns. However, while there were distinctive differences in the levels of concern and official responses within this tripartite community depending on religious persuasion, temperance beliefs, social conscience and police and magisterial intervention, a case can be made that because of its strategic location, Union Street unconsciously played a significant (if not formally recognized) role in paving the way for unification.

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School of Society and Culture