Torpoint (Penntorr) is a town in the far south east of Cornwall, England, separated from the city of Plymouth by a stretch of water referred to as the Hamoaze, which itself is the mouth of the River Tamar. It is on the Rame Peninsula.

Torpoint's sea link to Plymouth (and Devonport) is by the Torpoint Ferry. The three ferry boats that operate this service are propelled across the river by pulling themselves on chains. These chains sink to the bottom to allow shipping movements in the river. The ferry journey takes 7 minutes.

Torpoint has a population of 8,457 (2001 census). In the Cornish language Torpoint is called Penntorr, which is also the name of a local folk band.

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 in the Parish of Antony 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.

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.


Educational institutions in Torpoint include:

  • Torpoint Infant School — a medium-large infant school.
  • Carbeile Junior School — a large primary school.
  • Torpoint Community College, The Humanities College for South East Cornwall — the only humanities college in south east Cornwall.

External links


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