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Torpoint - Cornwall

Postal Town: Torpoint (PL11)

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Torpoint is a gateway town to and from south east Cornwall via a ferry crossing over the river Tamar.


ŠTom Pledgemason

Torpoint, history and present-day details

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Torpoint is a gateway town to and from south east Cornwall via a ferry crossing over the river Tamar.

The town developed in line with Devonport Royal Dockyard, which was built from the late 1700s onwards. Torpoint was then named Tar Point; a place where the sailing vessels of the fleet at that time were laid on their sides at low tide to have their bellies painted with protective tar.

The land-owning family, the Carew-Poles, sold off much of the SE area of Torpoint to enable the town to grow from Fore Street outwards for families of the Dockyard workers. This tradition has continues ever since with more land being sold for the newer housing estates of Sycamore Drive, Woodlands Way, Hawthorn Avenue and Goad Avenue, plus a few smaller developments here and there.

The town prospered further with two naval training establishments, HMS Ralleigh and HMS Fisguard. However, the officer training at Fisguard was moved elsewhere leaving Ralleigh, which has gradually grown over the years.

Torpoint, then, is largely a town of families with navy connections. The town supports these families with an array of shops, eateries and pubs/clubs, plus a legend in the night-club world, The Harbour Lights.

As a drive-through town, Torpoint could do more for the thousands of passing visitors. However, it is worth a stop to look in the shops in Fore Street and around the river-side streets and walks around the town.



ŠTom Pledgemason



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