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Torpoint War Memorial - - 72337.jpg
The Ellis Memorial in memory of James B. Ellis a Torpoint man who drowned in July 1897 trying to save two boys from the river Tamar.
Torpoint is located in Cornwall
Location within Cornwall
Population8,364 (2011)
OS grid referenceSX438552
Civil parish
  • Torpoint
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtPL11
Dialling code01752
PoliceDevon and Cornwall
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
50°22′34″N 4°12′18″W / 50.376°N 4.205°W / 50.376; -4.205Coordinates: 50°22′34″N 4°12′18″W / 50.376°N 4.205°W / 50.376; -4.205

Torpoint (Cornish: Penntorr[1]) is a civil parish and town on the Rame Peninsula in southeast Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated opposite the city of Plymouth across the Hamoaze which is the tidal estuary of the River Tamar.[2] Torpoint had a population of 8,457 at the 2001 census, decreasing to 8,364 at the 2011 census.[3] Two electoral wards also exist (Torpoint East and Torpoint West). Their combined populations at the same census were 7,717.[4] In the Cornish language Torpoint is called Penntorr (local folk band Pentorr have taken their name from this).

Torpoint is linked to Plymouth (and Devonport) by the Torpoint Ferry. The three vessels that operate the service are chain ferries – 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[edit]

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".[5]


Torpoint is an eighteenth-century planned town. The grid-based design for the town was commissioned by Reginald Pole Carew in the Parish of Antony in 1774. His family continue to have a strong influence in the area, having become the Carew Poles in the twentieth century, and still reside at their family seat, Antony House.

In 1796 Torpoint was the setting for a shooting battle between the crew of a government vessel, the Viper, and a large party of armed liquor smugglers, in which one person was killed and five people seriously wounded.[6]

Due to the presence of Devonport Dockyard, the town grew as Dockyard workers settled there. The establishment of the Royal Navy's main training facility, HMS Raleigh also increased the population of Torpoint.[7]

Notable people from Torpoint[edit]

See Category:People from Torpoint

  • John Langdon Down was born in Torpoint in 1828. He later described the medical condition which is now referred to as Down syndrome. 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:[8]

Sport and leisure[edit]

Torpoint has a non-league football club, Torpoint Athletic F.C., which plays at The Mill.


Torpoint is twinned with Benodet (Benoded) in Brittany, France.[9]


  1. ^ "List of Place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel" (PDF). Cornish Language Partnership. May 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 201 Plymouth & Launceston ISBN 978-0-319-23146-3
  3. ^ "civil parish population 2011". Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Ward of Torpoint West 2011". Retrieved 15 February 2015.
    - "Ward of Torpoint East 2011". Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  5. ^ Mills, A. D. (1996). The Popular Dictionary of English Place-names. Parragon Book Service Ltd and Magpie Books. p. 332. ISBN 0-7525-1851-8.
  6. ^ Codd, Daniel. Paranormal Devon (2013). Amberley Publishing. p.9-10. ISBN 9781848681668.
  7. ^ "History of Torpoint". Torpoint Town Council. Retrieved 16 December 2011.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Education". Torpoint Town Council. Retrieved 16 December 2011.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "About Us". Torpoint & District Twinning Association. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2011.

External links[edit]