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Saltash is a town in the south east of Cornwall, facing Plymouth over the River Tamar. Known as "the Gateway to Cornwall" because of the rail and road bridges crossing the River Tamar here. Saltash was founded as a market town by the lord of Trematon Castle in the 12th century. The town was sited at a point where an ancient highway crossed the Tamar estuary by means of a ferry. By the end of that century Saltash had achieved borough status. Its name means ash tree by the salt mill and it was the first port to be established on the system of estuaries stretching from Plymouth Sound. It is now a flourishing modern town, set by the River Tamar in a lovely setting within easy reach of many major attractions in both Cornwall and Devon.
The more famous of the two bridges here is the rail bridge which was designed by the famous Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The Royal Albert Bridge, Brunel's masterpiece, was opened by HRH Prince Albert on 2 May 1859 to carry the railway line across the River Tamar to Cornwall. A towering 134-foot bridge, it is 2,187.5 feet long, has two unique 455 foot iron trusses and still carries the main line railway in and out of Cornwall. Alongside it is the Tamar Bridge, a toll bridge 1,099 ft long, carrying the A38 trunk road between Devon and Cornwall. It was completed in October 1961 and formally opened by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in April 1962. In 2001 became the first suspension bridge to be widened whilst remaining open to traffic.
Other visitor attractions include the cottage of Mary Newman, Sir Francis Drake's first wife; the early Norman church of St Nicholas and St Faith uphill from the ferry crossing and the main parish church for Saltash; the 15th century St Stephens which is about a mile from the town centre. Nearby are the ruins of Trematon Castle; a motte-and-bailey castle dating from soon after the Norman conquest.

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