River Plym

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River Plym
River Plym (England).jpg
View of the River Plym at Laira looking North
Country England
County Devon
City Plymouth
Source Plym Head
 - elevation 450 m (1,476 ft)
Mouth Cattewater
Length 30 km (19 mi)

The River Plym is a river in Devon, England. Its source is some 450m (about 1500 ft) above sea level on Dartmoor, in an upland marshy area called Plym Head. From the upper reaches, which contain antiquities and mining remains, the river flows roughly southwest and enters the sea at Plymouth Sound. The river passes to the east of (and gives its name to) the city of Plymouth — the settlement was historically known as Sutton. Its tidal estuary is known as the Laira and the final part is called Cattewater. It is approximately 30 km (about 20 mi) long.

The name Plym is thought to have its origins in Old English, or Cornish and means the 'plum tree' (Cornish ploumenn), from a back-formation from the name of Plympton.

HMS Plym (K271), a River-class antisubmarine frigate, was named after the river during World War II. It carried out convoy escort duties in the North Atlantic and was later destroyed in the UK's first nuclear explosion.

When it was in operation, the Cann Quarry Canal left the river at Marsh Mills.[1]

The Plym Valley Railway is a volunteer run railway which operates steam and diesel hauled train rides along a section of the Plym Valley from Marsh Mills station. The railway is currently extending its line to Plymbridge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hadfield, Charles (1985) The Canals of Southwest England, 2nd ed. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles; pp. 122-123 ISBN 0-7153-8645-X

Coordinates: 50°22′N 4°07′W / 50.367°N 4.117°W / 50.367; -4.117