Merafield Road

On the northern edge of the Saltram estate we find a group of streets with a common name – Merafield Road, Merafield Drive, Merafield Close and Merafield Rise. The name first appears on local documents in 1615 as ‘Merefeild’ and, in contrast to the handful of Merrifield’s dotted elsewhere around Devon, comes to us as the ‘marshy field’. In most of the other cases the name refers to ‘a pleasant open space’.

In Plympton however, although there is no reason to suppose that this was not a pleasant open space in the seventeenth century, the name though appears to be a product of the gradual silting up of the tidal creek that ran along the valley bed, along the path of Longbrook. Time was when large boats could navigate inland as far as Barbican Road, St Maurice. However as the alluvial tin mining of the higher reaches of the Plym brought ever more trade to the area in the twelfth century, so the resulting detritus that came down the river caused this, and various other creeks in the neighbourhood to silt up and become marsh lands rather than tidal inlets – hence also, of course, Marsh Mills.