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 saltash.net 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.
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
Sir Evan Nepean 1st Baronet (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.
Dame Moura Lympany (1916-2005) the pianist was born in Saltash.
Mary Newman, first wife of Sir Francis Drake lived in the town until she died in 1581.
Champion rower Ann Glanville (1796-1880) 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 a former football player for Plymouth Argyle, was born in Saltash in 1951.
Saltash May Fair - May Day.
Saltash Regatta - Mid June.
Saltash Christmas Festival - Early December.
Bakers Coffee House
Two Bridges Inn
The Cecil Arms
The Ploughboy Inn
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