Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: October 09, 2021
Webpage updated: November 05, 2021




Over a century ago Plymstock was described as 'a parish and large straggling village in a pleasant valley, near Catwater Harbour and Plymouth Sound, 3 miles East by South of Plymouth.'

The parish consisted of several hamlets: Billacombe, Elburton, Goosewell, Mount Batten, Oreston, Pomphlet, Staddiscombe, Turnchapel, and West Hooe.

Recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Plemestocha", the name had been corrupted to "Plumstok" by 1228 and "Plimpstok" by 1284.  It seems to be derived from 'the stoc near the river Plym'.  The Ancient Parish Church of Saint Mary and All Saints would have dated from this period.

Pomphlett Corn Mills were first recorded in 1392, when they were known as the Abbott's Mill. 

Within the parish have been found many prehistoric artefacts, preserved, no doubt, by the general lack of development of the area over the centuries. 

Turnchapel, being placed on the Cattewater, grew and prospered from the shipbuilding yards and ancilliary trades that became established on the river bank.  In 1677 there was a yard for breaming and repairing the King's ships and during the following century a Mr John Cater and a Mr Silas Frost both established shipbuilding and repair yards in the village.  It even boasted a wet dock in 1797 and a dry dock a few years afterwards.  Even warships were built here for the Royal Navy.  Mr Cater built the terrace of houses that line Boringdon Road.  This prosperity no doubt contributed to the opening of the Turnchapel Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in 1817.

Plymstock National School and Dean National School were founded in 1827.

Plymstock Workhouse existed in the 1820s but was replaced by the Plympton Union Workhouse in the 1830s.

At the time of the census on Sunday March 31st 1851, the population of the Parish of Plymstock was 3,302, comprising 1,596 males and 1,706 females.  The Parish had grown by 330 people since 1841.  There were 500 inhabited properties in the Parish, along with 13 uninhabited and two under construction, making Plymstock the largest of the rural parishes that now makes up Plymouth.

The Anglican Church of Saint John the Evangelist was erected in 1855.  On and as from May 9th 1856 Hooe was created a separate ecclesiastical parish from Plymstock.  Hooe includes Bovisand, Mount Batten and Turnchapel.  Alongside the Church was built the Saint John's National School, otherwise known as Hooe National School, and an infants' school was also opened at Turnchapel.

In October 1856 the Bishop of Exeter licensed a chapel-of-ease to Plymstock Parish Church to be erected at Oreston.

Although the Bible Christian movement had started meetings in the area in 1843, their Elburton Bible Christian Chapel was not opened for worship until April 1869.

During 1866 the Ancient Parish Church of Saint Mary and All Saints underwent restoration work.

The Plymstock School Board was formed on Wednesday June 21st 1871.  They built and opened the Oreston Board School in 1873.

The original Hooe Baptist Chapel was opened in 1877.

In February 1886 the chapel-of-ease at Oreston was finally dedicated as the Mission Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

Plymstock's first railway line terminated at Pomphlete (sic) and was opened in July 1888.

The remainder of the railway line to Turnchapel Station was opened by the London and South Western Railway Company in January 1897.

In 1898 the Great Western Railway Company opened their branch railway from Plymstock Station to Yealmpton.

Pomphlett United Methodist Chapel was opened for worship in 1909.

Although there was some expansion in Plymstock following the arrival of the railway lines to Yealmpton and Turnchapel, it was the advent of the motor bus in the 1920s that brought the greatest increase in housing and population.

In 1923 the new Anglican Church of Saint Matthew the Apostle was opened for worship.  It became a Conventional District in 1931.

The brand new School building was opened at Lower Hooe in October 1931 and was officially named the Plymstock Lower Hooe Council School.

The Roman Catholic Church of Saint Gregory Magnus was opened for worship in July 1933.

On Monday January 10th 1938 the Plymstock Lower Hooe Council School re-opened after the Christmas holiday as the Plymstock Hooe Junior Council School.

In 1945, as a result of the reorganization brought about by the Education Act 1944, the Oreston County Junior School became the Oreston County Primary School, and Plymstock Hooe Junior Council School became the Plymstock Hooe County Primary School.

In October 1947 the last passenger train ran on the Yealmpton Branch.

On Monday October 29th 1956 a new Hooe County Infants' School was officially opened.

The Plymouth Railway Circle organised the very last train the the Yealmpton Branch in February 1960.

A new Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Saint Margaret Mary was opened for worship in March 1961.

When speaking at the luncheon held after he had laid the foundation stone of the new Plymstock shopping centre, Sir George Hater-Hames, chairman of Devon County Council declared that the scheme would make Plymstock: 'an individual place that will not be absorbed by that place over the river'.  That was on Friday June 3rd 1960.

A new Hooe Baptist Chapel was opened in July 1961.

On April 1st 1967 the parish of Plymstock as part of Plympton Saint Mary Rural District Council, was absorbed by 'that place across the river', the City of Plymouth.