Portreath Gardens

In a part of Plymouth where there are a number of Cornish place-names that have been adapted as local street names we find Portreath Gardens.

Until the late-eighteenth, early-nineteenth century Portreath was little more than a quiet fishing village on the north coast of Cornwall, immediately north of Cambourne and Redruth. It was Lord de Dunstanville, Francis Bassett, of Tehidy (the family had settled there 150 years earlier), who envisaged something on a grander scale for the port in 1760. Recognising the value that could accrue from having a working port to service the local mining communities he set about transforming the harbour with docks and pier, from 1809, the first tramway with railway traffic following soon afterwards. The line from Portreath Junction to Redruth, with its comparatively steep incline, was opened in 1838.

The name itself appears to have a simple enough explanation, it is the “beach cove” or possibly the cove at Treath – there was a habitation there by that name that is shown on a map of 1699. The name itself was recorded separately, and differently, in the seventeenth century as “Porthtreath” and in the nineteenth century as “Porth treyth”, both entries being copied from a much earlier (1495) document that has since been lost.