Torpoint is now a civil parish and town on the Rame Peninsula in southeast Cornwall, England. It is situated opposite the city of Plymouth across the Hamoaze which is the tidal estuary of the River Tamar.
Torpoint has a population of 8,457 (2001 census). In the Cornish language Torpoint is called Penntorr. Torpoint was a village in Antony parish until 1904 when it was made an urban district independent of the St Germans Rural District of which Antony was a part.
Torpoint is linked to Plymouth (and Devonport) by the Torpoint Ferry. The three vessels that operate the service are chain ferries – that is, they are propelled across the river by pulling themselves on fixed chains which lie across the bed of the river. The journey takes about seven minutes.
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.
In 1796 Torpoint was the setting for a shooting battle between the crew of a government vessel, the Viper, and a large party of armed liquor smugglers, in which one person was killed and five people seriously wounded.
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.