Torpoint is a civil parish and town on the Rame Peninsula
Rame Peninsula
The Rame Peninsula is a peninsula in south-east Cornwall, England, in the United Kingdom. The peninsula is surrounded by the English Channel to the south, Plymouth Sound to the east, and the estuary of the River Lynher to the north...

 in southeast Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It is situated opposite the city of Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

 across the Hamoaze
The Hamoaze is an estuarine stretch of the tidal River Tamar, between the River Lynher and Plymouth Sound, England.The Hamoaze flows past Devonport Dockyard, which belongs to the Royal Navy...

 which is the tidal estuary of the River Tamar
River Tamar
The Tamar is a river in South West England, that forms most of the border between Devon and Cornwall . It is one of several British rivers whose ancient name is assumed to be derived from a prehistoric river word apparently meaning "dark flowing" and which it shares with the River Thames.The...


Torpoint has a population of 8,457 (2001 census). In the Cornish language
Cornish language
Cornish is a Brythonic Celtic language and a recognised minority language of the United Kingdom. Along with Welsh and Breton, it is directly descended from the ancient British language spoken throughout much of Britain before the English language came to dominate...

 Torpoint is called Penntorr (local folk band Pentorr have taken their name from this).

Torpoint is linked to Plymouth (and Devonport
Devonport, Devon
Devonport, formerly named Plymouth Dock or just Dock, is a district of Plymouth in the English county of Devon, although it was, at one time, the more important settlement. It became a county borough in 1889...

) by the Torpoint Ferry
Torpoint Ferry
The Torpoint Ferry is a car and pedestrian chain ferry, connecting the A374 road which crosses the Hamoaze, a stretch of water at the mouth of the River Tamar, between Devonport in Plymouth and Torpoint in Cornwall...

. The three vessels that operate the service are chain ferries
Cable ferry
A cable ferry is guided and in many cases propelled across a river or other larger body of water by cables connected to both shores. They are also called chain ferries, floating bridges, or punts....

 – that is, they are propelled across the river by pulling themselves on fixed chains which lie across the bed of the river. The journey takes about seven minutes.

Origin of name

It is said that Torpoint's name is derived from Tar Point, a name given because of the initial industry on the west bank of the Hamoaze. However this is actually a nickname given by workers, Torpoint meaning "rocky headland".


Torpoint is an eighteenth-century planned town. The grid-based design for the town was commissioned by Reginald Pole Carew
Reginald Pole Carew
Reginald Pole Carew was a British politician.Rt. Hon. Reginald Pole-Carew was born 28 July 1753, the son of Reginald Pole and Anne Buller. He lived at Antony House, Cornwall.-Career:...

 in the Parish of Antony
Antony, Cornwall
Antony is a coastal civil parish and a village in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom.The village is situated on the Rame Peninsula about three miles west of Torpoint and has a shop, a pub and a garage....

 in 1774. His family continued to have a strong influence in the area, having become the Carew Poles, and still reside at their family seat, Antony House
Antony House
Antony House is the name given to an early 18th-century house, which today is in the ownership of the National Trust. It is located between the towns of Torpoint and the village of Antony in the county of Cornwall, United Kingdom...


Due to the presence of Devonport Dockyard
HMNB Devonport
Her Majesty's Naval Base Devonport , is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy . HMNB Devonport is located in Devonport, in the west of the city of Plymouth in Devon, England...

, the town grew as Dockyard workers settled there. The establishment of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

's main training facility, HMS Raleigh
HMS Raleigh (shore establishment)
HMS Raleigh is the modern-day basic training facility of the Royal Navy at Torpoint, Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is spread over several square miles, and has damage control simulators and fire-fighting training facilities...

 also increased the population of Torpoint.

Notable people from Torpoint

See :Category:People from Torpoint

John Langdon Down
John Langdon Down
John Langdon Haydon Down was a British doctor best known for his description of a relatively common genetic disorder that is now called Down syndrome.-Education:...

 was born in Torpoint in 1828, he later described the condition which is now referred to as Down syndrome
Down syndrome
Down syndrome, or Down's syndrome, trisomy 21, is a chromosomal condition caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who described the syndrome in 1866. The condition was clinically described earlier in the 19th...

. He was called back on a number of occasions to help his father in his local business until his father's death in 1853.


Educational institutions in Torpoint include:
  • Torpoint Infant School — a medium-large infant school
    Infant school
    An Infant school is a term used primarily in the United Kingdom for school for children between the ages of four and seven years. It is usually a small school serving a particular locality....

  • Carbeile Junior School — a large primary school.
  • Torpoint Community College
    Torpoint Community College
    Torpoint Community College is a specialist Humanities College in Cornwall, United KingdomThe school's most notable alumni are Sheryll Murray the new Conservative Member of Parliament for South East Cornwall and the defeated Liberal Democrat candidate Karen Gillard....

    , The Humanities College for South East Cornwall — the only humanities
    The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

    college in south east Cornwall.

External links

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