Plympton, or Plympton Maurice or Plympton St Maurice or Plympton Erle, in south-western Devon, England is an ancient stannary town: an important trading centre in the past for locally mined tin, and a former seaport (before the River Plym silted up and trade moved down the river to Plymouth). Today it is a populous, north-eastern suburb of the city of Plymouth of which it officially became part, along with Plymstock, in 1967.

In the last 20 years Plympton has seen considerable growth spurt and the suburban population has doubled. To help manage the growth more efficiently, Plympton has been separated into a series of separate districts, these are: Yealmpstone, Plympton-St Maurice, Colebrook, Underwood, and Chaddlewood. Plympton has the questionable distinction, shared with its neighbour Plymstock, of being a 'dispersal area' under an order taken by the city and the police which is intended to assist the police in containing a rising threat to public order from especially young people who constables and support officers can now disperse for periods of up to 24 hours if they consider that moving on groups of two or more would reduce the threat to peace and order. Plympton together with its demographically very similar neighbouring suburb Plymstock is probably the most right-wing political area of the wider city, invariably returning a Conservative member of parliament the current MP being Gary Streeter.

A new town is scheduled to be built adjacent to Plympton which will be called Sherford. This development is expected to consist of "at least 4,000 dwellings by 2016". [ Sherford Area Action Plan (August 2007)] ,p.5, section 1.14] Recent proposals to build a much enlarged Plymouth Airport along a corridor south of the A38 road north of the Sherford site and east of Plympton leaving Plympton and the Plym estuary (the Laira) as the flight path, seem to the almost universal relief of Plympton residents, to have been shelved or attracted no funding.

Plympton still has its own town centre (called the Ridgeway), and is itself an amalgamation of several villages, including St Mary's, St Maurice, Colebrook, Woodford, Boringdon, Newnham, Langage and Chaddlewood.


Near Plympton is the Iron Age hillfort of Boringdon Camp.

Plympton is mentioned in the Domesday book. In 1086 it said:

”The King holds Plympton. TRETRE in Latin is Tempore Regis Edwardi. This means in the time of King Edward the Confessor before the Battle of Hastings.] it paid for two and a half hides. There is land for 20 ploughs. In are two ploughs and six slaves and 5 and 12 with 12 ploughs. There are convert|6|acre|m2 of meadow and 20 acres of pasture, woodland one league long and a half broad. It renders £13 10s by weight. Beside this land the canons of the same manor hold 2 hides. There is land for 6 ploughs. There 12 v have 4 ploughs. It is worth 35 shillings."Domesday Book: A Complete Transliteration". London: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-143994-7 p.279]

More Recent History

The town was one of the rotten boroughs, and sent two MPs to the unreformed House of Commons before the Reform Act 1832 stripped it of its representation.

It is centred on a Norman Castle and still retains its Medieval layout. It became a Stannary town, able to test and market tin from Dartmoor.

The town was the birthplace and residence of the world renowned artist, Joshua Reynolds. Reynolds was Mayor of Plympton, as well as first president of the Royal Academy of Art. His father was headmaster of Plympton Grammar School. Former pupils were Benjamin Haydon and Sir Charles Lock Eastlake PRA, who were respectively first director of the National Gallery and first president of the Royal Photographic Society.

Railway facilities were originally provided at Plympton — for goods traffic only — by the horse-drawn Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway, but their branch was closed and sold to the South Devon Railway to allow them to build a line from Exeter to Plymouth. A station was opened in the town on 15 June 1848. From 1 June 1904 it was the eastern terminus for enhanced Plymouth area suburban services but it was closed from 3 March 1959.

Preserved Railways

The Plym Valley Railway is based at the reconstructed Marsh Mills station on Coypool Road opposite the park and ride carpark. This was formerly part of the GWR Plymouth to Launceston branch line. The volunteer run PVR is actively rebuilding the line between Marsh Mills and Plymbridge. Steam and diesel heritage trains run on numerous Sundays throughout the year. The railway centre is open every Sunday from 11:00. For more details visit the [ PVR website] .

Claims to Fame

* Richard Strode was an MP here who first established Parliamentary privilege.
* Channel 4's Time Team came to look at the Medieval Town (broadcast January 1999)
* Baron David Owen, Foreign Secretary was born here
* Sir Edwin Sandys who founded the colony of Jamestown was an MP here


External links

* [] Plympton internet site
* [] Sherford Community Forum

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