Plymstock

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Plymstock
Civil parish
Pomphett Lake
Pomphett Lake
Coordinates: 50°21′25″N 4°05′24″W / 50.35694°N 4.09000°W / 50.35694; -4.09000Coordinates: 50°21′25″N 4°05′24″W / 50.35694°N 4.09000°W / 50.35694; -4.09000
Country England
Primary council Plymouth
County Devon
Region South West England
Status Parish
Government
 • UK Parliament South West Devon
 • EU Parliament South West England
Population
 • Total 24,103

Plymstock is a civil parish and commuter suburb of Plymouth in the English county of Devon.

The earliest surviving documentary reference to the place is as Plemestocha in the Domesday Book and its name is derived from Old English meaning either "outlying farm with a plum-tree" or, if it is short for Plympton Stock, "outlying farm belonging to Plympton".[1]

Situated on the east bank of the River Plym it is geographically and historically part of the South Hams. It comprises the villages of Billacombe, Elburton, Goosewell, Hooe, Mountbatten, Oreston, Pomphlett, Staddiscombe, Turnchapel and Plymstock proper, the centrally located village after which the parish and suburb is named. The parish church is St Mary and All Saints. The pedestrianised 1960s Broadway consists of a number of shops including two supermarkets, three banks, five estate agents and other local amenities including a fire station and a small police station. At Pomphlett there is a superstore and drive-through burger restaurant. The population at the time of the 2001 Census was recorded at 24,103 with 11,652 owner occupied homes in the PL9 area.

The local branch railways through the area to Turnchapel and Yealmpton have been removed, the bridges and stations demolished and the land built on. Pomphlett Mill has been demolished and the site used for a roundabout. Pomphlett Creek (shown right), once a popular rowing stretch has been partly filled in and what remains is largely silted up.

Until the 20th century Plymstock was a rural parish but began to develop rapidly just before and after the Second World War as a residential area outside Plymouth but acting as a dormitory area for the city. On 1 April 1967,[2] Plymstock, along with Plympton, was absorbed into the City of Plymouth and today, like Plympton, forms a populous and mostly home-owning south-eastern suburb of the city.

There are numerous public spaces including a huge public sports area at Staddiscombe. There is a major golf club at Staddon Heights and a commercial driving range near Elburton. Strident campaigning to get permission and funding for a local public swimming pool have so far failed. Rowing is available on the river Plym, there is a sailing club at Oreston and a large water-sports centre at Turnchapel. There are public tennis courts at Dean Cross.

There are many state primary schools in the area and two very large Comprehensive Schools, Coombe Dean School and Plymstock School. There are no local independent school options although children who chose to take and get a very high pass in the 11 plus can attend one of the three grammar schools in Plymouth. In 2008 Coombe Dean School achieved national notoriety after a popular school plan to erect two generating windmills was blocked by local Tory councillors following opposition by residents of surrounding bungalows.[citation needed]

Frequent buses connect most areas of Plymstock with routes across the city linking with the railway station and Derriford hospital. There is a water-taxi linking Mountbatten with Plymouth Barbican.

The area invariably returns a Tory MP reflecting with Plympton a more right wing community than the rest of the city. Gary Streeter is the present Conservative member. It is also part of the South West Devon constituency which encompasses surrounding rural areas of South Devon; separate from the rest of Plymouth, it is, however, under the Plymouth City Council's control.

There are misgivings[who?] about the impact of the imminent building of the vast Sherford New Town which will fill the gap between Elburton, Yealmpton, Lyneham and Saltram. In 1992, Mark Williams, a former Plymstock resident and Coombe Dean pupil, became the youngest person to join the elite Special Air Service Regiment.[citation needed]

Folklore[edit]

Childe's Tomb on Dartmoor is the legendary site of the death of Childe who, caught in a snowstorm, killed and disembowelled his horse and climbed inside for shelter, but still froze to death. He left a message to say that the first person to bury him would get his lands at Plymstock. The greedy monks of Tavistock buried him and claimed the lands. The ghosts of monks carrying a bier have supposedly been seen at Childe's Tomb.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Watts, Victor (2010). The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-names (1st paperback ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 476. ISBN 978-0-521-16855-7. 
  2. ^ "City council". Plymouth Data. 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2009-01-03. [dead link]
  3. ^ Hippisley Coxe, Anthony E. (1973). Haunted Britain. Pub. Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-116540-7. p. 30.