Ballast pond at Torpoint 690m west of North Corner Quay


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1007261.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 01-Dec-2020 at 21:58:51.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 44083 54679

Reasons for Designation

The ballast pond at Torpoint 690m west of North Corner Quay facilitated simple storage of ballast-laden barges at the time when this area was made up of shingle, presenting particularly operational difficulties, thus allowing the ballast to be efficiently stored without unnecessary over-handling. It reflects the growing importance of the area for the repair of ships at the naval dockyard. As such, it is a key element of naval maintenance history which was superseded by changes in technology. It is an unusual survival and a relatively rare piece of maritime history which survives well.


The monument includes a ballast pond, situated just above the low water mark within the Hamoaze, at the eastern tip of the Torpoint peninsula opposite Devonport Dockyard. The ballast pond survives as a roughly square stone-walled enclosure measuring approximately 80m with walls of dressed limestone rubble with paved upper surfaces. The walls stand to over 2m high and measure approximately 4.5m thick at the base tapering to 2.4m at the top. The inner facing walls are stepped. The entrance is approximately 10m wide with rounded wall ends. There are cast iron mooring rings at intervals. Access to the pond from the shore is via a wooden footbridge. The interior is today lined with galvanised fenders to prevent damage, and there are modern fixtures and fittings for its current use as a marina. These are excluded from the scheduling although the structure beneath is included.

The pound was built by the Admiralty in 1783 following an agreement negotiated the previous year. When repairs to the bottom of a ship were required, much of the ballast had to be removed. This was placed into lighters, which would often be heavily-laden. To facilitate storage of the ballast within the lighters without the need to unload them, they were kept within the pound until the repairs were made and the ballast required again. The ballast was of shingle until this was superseded by pig iron in the 19th century, when the ballast pond went out of use. In 1905 it was proposed that the ballast pond be covered with a shed and used to accommodate submarines undergoing repair. In the 1930's it was used to berth tugs during repairs.

The ballast pond or pound is Listed Grade II (61990).

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-437688


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CO 1085
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].