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Compton Castle of Truro

The old paddle steamer still has legs.

News 1982 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The former paddle steamer, PS Compton Castle in Truro in Cornwall has been restored and turned into a restaurant employing ten full time staff. The paddler has arrived from Looe where it has been for four years. Brothers Danny and Larry Watson have signed an agreement to lease the vessel for the new venture. The stationary steamer is the sister ship of the fully operating PS Kingswear Castle which still takes tourists up and down the River Dart in Devon.

In 1912 the River Dart Steamboat Company sold the steamship the Totnes Castle and the Compton Castle came in its stead and took up duties in 1914. Unlike other steamers, the Compton Castle's deck extended out over the paddle sponsons and this became a typical style for all subsequent Dart paddlers. The paddler was retired from service in 1962 and spent fourteen years moored in Kingsbridge before going to Looe in Cornwall. The boat has been stripped of most of its original interior and engines and went on to become a florist and a cafe. The boat is still moored on the River Kenwyn by Truro's Lemon Quay, an established landmark of the city and every so often the retail lease comes up for renewal.