The Gateway to Cornwall by road and rail


Saltash Town Council


Dividing Cornwall from England and facing Plymouth over the River Tamar, the great tidal reaches of the River were once a main maritime highway, with ships carrying minerals, fruit and flowers to the markets of the world. At the centre of this activity was the port of Saltash, once the base for the largest river steamer fleet in the South West. The population of the town was 16,184 at the 2011 census.

After the Norman Conquest, Robert, Count of Mortain, who held the castle and manor at Trematon, took the market from the canons at St. Germans and established it at Saltash. The Count granted Trematon and other manors to the de Valletorts, who had then to provide for the ferry boat. In 1190 a borough was founded and Saltash became the only franchised seaport between Dartmouth and Fowey.

The Lord of Trematon founded the market town of Saltash in the 12th century, at a point where an ancient highway crossed the Tamar estuary by means of a ferry. The history of Saltash is linked to the passage, or ferrying place across the Tamar. The original ferry became established by fishermen for those passing to and from the monastery at St. Germans and to Trematon Castle. The Antony Passage Ferry, which is mentioned in documents as early as 1324, was situated within the St. Stephens suburb of Saltash civil parish. The ferry belonged to the Daunay family in the 14th century, in 1450 it passed to the Carew family, and by the end of the 18th century it was taken over by the Crosley family, who operated the ferry for several generations, until it fell into disuse in the early 1950's. Saltash achieved borough status around the end of that century. It was the first port to be established on the system of estuaries stretching from Plymouth Sound. Until 1901, Saltash had jurisdiction over all those waters. The town's strategic position led to its involvement in many important events.


Today Saltash is still the 'Gateway to Cornwall' with most visitors arriving either by Brunel's dramatic 1859 railway bridge, the Royal Albert, or by the modern suspension A38 road bridge built in 1961 and widened to five lanes in 2001. The town was by-passed in 1988 with a 400 yard three lane tunnel on the approach to the Tamar Bridge, which made a great improvement to the flow of traffic through the town.

Saltash still retains some original features, including an 18th century Guildhall on granite pillars, and amongst the quaint old cottages you can find Mary Newman's Cottage, Sir Francis Drake's first wife. From the old town quay below you can enjoy a boat trip upriver to Calstock.

Situated in Lower Fore Street is Elliott's Grocery Store, a 'time-warp' grocery shop which remains as it was when the last customer was served in 1973. The shop has many original features dating back to its origins in the 1890's, and includes a reconstruction of the parlour using many original family and business exhibits. And just a few houses up the hill is Saltash Museum.


The parish church of Saltash was until 1881 at St. Stephen by Saltash, one mile from the town. Though of earlier foundation the structure of the building is largely 15th century. The chapel at Saltash was dedicated to Saint Nicholas and Saint Faith and became the parish church of the town in 1881.

The secondary school in Saltash was designated as a Science and Mathematics & Computing Specialist College in September 2004, and renamed community school.

Victoria Gardens were created to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The monument is to Major General Sir William Penn Symons who was the first British General killed during the Boer War.

Overlooking the Lynher estuary is the National Trust property of Antony House, said to be the finest Queen Anne building in the West Country. Upstream, on a tributary of the Lynher, is the magnificent 12th century church of St. Germans, built on the site of an earlier monastery which had been the seat of the Cornish bishops. Also nearby is Trematon Castle. and Ince Castle Gardens.

The Tamar Valley was renowned in the 18th century for its fruit crops particularly cherries - and at springtime the blossoming orchards around Calstock and the village of Botusfleming, will provide you with a glimpse of this former splendour.

Saltash hosts a number of annual festivals: Saltash Mayfair takes place in and around Fore Street during early May, and Saltash Town Regatta brings music and entertainment to the Waterside area in the summer.

Saltash still has a railway station on the main line through Cornwall.

China Fleet Golf & Country Club is nearby which has a 18 hole course and 40 spacious apartments. Set in 180 acres of stunning Cornish countryside along the banks of the River Tamar and just ten minutes from Saltash.

A new landmark to mark the county's boundary - a 65 foot high Celtic cross was erected on the Saltash side of the River Tamar in April 2013. The two-tonne cross is made of carbon fibre and resin impregnated with copper and was created with £450,000 of lottery funding. It is hoped it will help boost the number of visitors to the town.

The local leisure centre is in Plougastel Drive, PL12 6DJ.

Art Galleries

Art Box Gallery


There are a series of walks in the countryside around the town with leaflets available from the council.

Saltash Walk One - Latchbrook, Longlands & Lane - 2.5 miles
Saltash Walk Two - Railways, Rivers & Castles - 5 miles
Saltash Walk Three - Trematon & Trevollard - 4 miles
Saltash Walk Four - A part of ‘Beating Saltash’s Bounds - 4 miles
Saltash Walk Five - Fields, Farms and Forder - 3 miles
Saltash Walk Six - Bridge, Beach and Bridleways - 2.4 miles

Notable Residents

Rear-Admiral Ian Gerald Aylen CB OBE DSC (1910–2003), known as Jan Aylen, was an officer of the Royal Navy during the Second World War, eventually rising to flag rank.

Sir Evan Nepean 1st Baronet PC FRS (1752-1822) was born in St. Stephens near Saltash.

George Carter Bignell (1826-1910) the eminent entomologist, lived on Home Park Road until his death. A large collection of his insect specimens is held at the Plymouth Museum.

Lancelot Stephen Bosanquet (1903-1984) was born in St. Stephens near Saltash and was a British mathematician who worked in analysis, especially Fourier series.

John Brimacombe (born 25th November 1958) is a retired English footballer who played as a full back.

Sir Richard Buller (1578–1642) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1621 and 1642. He was a Parliamentarian officer during the English Civil War.

Ryan Anthony Dickson (born 14th December 1986) is an English former professional footballer who last played as a midfielder for Truro City.

Dame Moura Lympany (1916-2005) the pianist was born in Saltash.

Mary Newman (1548-1581), first wife of Sir Francis Drake lived in the town until she died in 1581.

Ann Glanville (1796-1880) A Champion rower who was famous between 1820 and 1850, at regattas all over England, she and her crews of Saltash women were seldom beaten in four-oared gig races, even against male competitors, She lived all her life in Saltash.

Colin Sullivan (1951-) a former football player for Plymouth Argyle, was born in Saltash.

Stephen (Steve) Field RBSA (born 3rd June 1954 in Saltash) is an English sculptor, muralist and mosaicist, active mainly in the West Midlands, particularly the Black Country, where a number of his works are on public display.

Percy Legard (1906–1980) was a British Army officer and sportsman. Legard competed as an Olympian in both Summer and Winter disciplines.

Michael Maynard (1937–2023) was a British sailor. He competed in the Finn event at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

James Harry Manson Moore (1929–2017) was a Cornish author. He was a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a leading authority on G. I. Gurdjieff.

Sarah Allen Olney (1842–1915) was a British headmistress. She was the founding head at two schools. She was first head of Blackheath High School and she left there to join with her sister, Rebecca Olney, to create "The Eves".

Pierre Stephen Robert Payne (1911–1983) was an author, known principally for works of biography and history, although he also wrote novels, poetry, magazine articles and many other works. After working in Singapore and China, he moved to the United States in 1946 and became a professor of English literature. From 1954 onwards he lived as a writer in New York.

Royce Pierreson Banemeck (born 1st April 1989), better known by his stage name Royce Pierreson, is a British actor and narrator. Royce is best known for his roles as DC Jamie Desford in the fourth series of Line of Duty and as Reece in Murdered by My Boyfriend.

Mary Snell Rundle RRC (1874–1937) was a British nursing reformer. She was the first ever Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing and co-ordinated the College's work for over 17 years.

Philip Santo (1818-1889) was a South Australian politician and businessman.

Daniel Philip Smith (born 5th October 1989) is an English footballer who plays as a forward for Truro City.

Sir John Francis Cleverton Snell, GBE (1859–1938) was a British electrical engineer and administrator.

Colin Sullivan (born 24 June 1951) is an English former footballer who played at left back for most of his career. At the time of his debut he was the youngest to play for Plymouth Argyle. As of 2013 he runs a gardening business.

Admiral Richard Darton Thomas (1777–1857) was an officer of the British Royal Navy who served during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and went on to become Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station in the 1840's.


Saltash May Fair - May Day.

Saltash Regatta - Mid June.

Saltash Christmas Festival - Early December.


Cafes in Saltash


Pubs in Saltash

Mount Edgcumbe Country Park       Cotehele House       River Tamar       Pentillie Castle & Estate       St. Germans

Callington       Calstock       Liskeard       Looe       Millbrook       Rame Head       Torpoint       St. Germans       Mary Newman's Cottage

Antony House       Ince Castle Gardens       Cornish Maize Maze       Saltash Museum       Trematon Castle       The Tamar Valley