1905 Description

Around and About Saltash, by Philip E B Porter (1905)

The situation of Saltash Town on the Southern side of a promontory is excellent for all purposes except the securing of a water supply. The houses rise 1 above another from the banks of the Tamar to high point at Longstone, 261 feet above the level of the sea, and it was difficult to find a water source with sufficient quantity at any near point in the locality high enough for water to be paroled over Longstone by gravitation. A quarter of a century was occupied in fruitless enquiry; therefore, after supplying the pressing needs of the lower portion of the Town by an inexpensive scheme of gravitation from an old mine adit near Pill - which scheme was begun and completed cheering the Mayoralty of Alderman P. E. B. Porter, in 1893 - negotiations were then at once entered upon with Plymouth, which were carried to success, under the Chairmanship of Alderman George Adams, J. P., (a brother of the famous astronomer) to works being completed and the water turned on in October 1897, Saltash thus acquiring a right of water supply from Burrator Reservoir, which exceeds 100 acres in area.

Until recently, visitors were apt to ajudge Saltash according to views caught while passing in trains or steamer. From neither point of view can a estimate be formed. A considerable and respectable portion of the town is away from the ken of the tripper.

Saltash is built upon a hill, and its picturesque environs are of that undulatory nature peculiar to the West of England; gentle slopes and sweating hills alternate with sunny valleys and fertile coombes. Building operations proceed apace, and many new houses have been, and will be, erected, facing the juncture of the Tamar and Tavy. Withal, applications for villas exceeds the supply, hence there is every prospect of an increasingly prosperous future for the "ancient borough". The drainage and water being excellent, people seem anxious to escape from more crowded towns, and enjoy the natural loveliness of Saltash. From the Victoria or Slade Park Gardens, visitors may enjoy an unrivaled view. Should they be disposed to ramble further afield, they will be richly recompensed by extensive outlooks and scenery the most charming.

Proceeding, via Longstone along the Burraton road, they command a prospect to inspire poet or painter. The confluence of Tamar and Tavy; the glimpse of Landulph with its nestling Church; St. Budeaux with its graceful pasture land, lonely Tors of Dartmoor; all these enchain the attention and soothe the fevered spirit. Perhaps the most magnificent outlook is to be obtained at high tides from Wearde, and here lovers of nature hold their breath for very delight. River and harbor, hill and dale, ancestral mansion and lowly cot, swelling fields and somber wold, comprise a perfect panorama of beauty. A sight of Mount Edgcumbe, with its Church crowned slopes and dusky woods, lends dignity and repose to the picture. Between the busy craft of the crowded Hamoaze, and along the stretches of the Lyhner, one could ever watch the shadows go as the sparkling, dancing waves ripple 'neath a sunny sky.

Almost every part of the town affords magnificent views for a radius of many miles, extending on the South over all the Hamoaze, the chief Anchorage of Britain's best bulwarks; ancient training ships and modern ironclads being there seen floating idly on the waters; while over the towers, spires, and chimneys of the Three Towns, Plymouth Sound and Breakwater are visible, with Staddon Heights and the Mewstone on the left, and the picturesque woods and glades of Mount Edgcumbe on the right go to end of lines; the whole display to the eye a lovely combination of art and nature.

Yet there are likewise on the Eastern side, river and moorland views of great expanse, embracing a lake, as fine as any sheet of water of its kind in the Kingdom, which is formed by the Tamar upon its junction with the Tavy near Warleigh. Beyond that we see Maristow and the ancient mansions, Buckland Abbey and Walreddon Manor, backed along the whole Eastern Horizon by the wild vales and Tors of Dartmoor; Cocks Tor, Peu Tor, Sheeps Tor, Great Mis Tor, (1760 feet altitude), and Brentor, capped by its liliputian Church, being chiefly conspicuous. Again, on the North, over the woods of Hatt and Pentillie and the moors of Viverden, stands the granite height Kitt Hill, on Hingston Down, at an altitude of 1067 feet, where Cornish miners have met to discuss their rights, and battles between Danes and Saxons have been fought. From Longstone can also be seen the Churches of Landulph, St Stephens, and Landrake, which has the highest tower but one in the county, and is said to be only three barley corns below Probus tower, the loftiest.

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page updated 2016-06-07

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