August 11, 1999 Eclipse Path
40 minutes on the ocean
1. Capital of Scilly Isles. Located on Saint Mary's Island.
1. Town owes its name ('holy headland' from the Cornish pen and sans) to the small rocky headland to the south of the harbour and the chapel which once stood just inland (on or close to the site of the present church).
2. Today Penzance is undeniably one of Cornwall's most attractive towns, both in terms of its architecture and position and, perhaps more importantly, its spirit. District Museum and Art Gallery in Penlee Park Trinity House's national lighthouse museum is down by the harbour
3. Jews trading with the fleet settled here in the mid-18th century and a small community was formed. 1807 synagogue built in New Street. Toward the end of the 19th century community decayed. Synagogue sold in 1906.
1. Camborne was just a village until transformed by the mining boom which began in the late eighteenth century and saw the Camborne and Redruth district become the richest mining area in the world. Most famous mine was Dolcoath ('old ground' in Cornish) which was known as the Queen of Cornish Mines. Dolcoath was the deepest 550 fathoms 3,30Oft), most productive (first in copper and then tin) and longest lived of all the mines in the county.
1. An ancient market town built on two hills, Helston has much to offer the tourist. Round about 8th May each year there is the world famous festival known as Flora Day, otherwise "Furry Day" with its picturesque "Furry Dance", in which long lines of people with their hands joined make their way with rhythmic motion through the streets and indeed the houses also. The custom is by some authorities considered to be a survival of the Roman occupation.
1. Redruth was formerly the capital of the largest and richest metal mining area in Britain. The town's setting is dominated by the granite heights of Carn Brea and Carn Marth. On Carn Brea can be seen the remains of one of the oldest and largest human settlements in Cornwall, a 46-acre Neolithic hillfort. By 1300 streamers were working along the brook that ran along the bottom of Fore Street. The iron oxide from the workings discoloured the water. The red river in turn gave its name to the ford from which the town derives its Cornish name (rhyd = ford, ruth = red). A charter for two weekly markets and two annual fairs was granted in 1324, and the Stannary Courts were sometimes held here in the later Middle Ages. Copper ore (discarded as waste by the earlier tinners) became sought after from the late 17th century. It could be used to make brass, a vital material for the technology of the Industrial Revolution. It was the deep mining of copper after the 1730s which raised Redruth's status to that of capital of the largest and richest metal mining area in Britain. At the peak of production in the1850s, two-thirds of the world's copper came from Cornwall.
1. Falmouth has come along way since 1600 when it only consisted of two houses, a smithy and an alehouse, but when Sir Walter Raleigh stayed with Sir John Killegrew at Arwenack House, he was so impressed with its geographical features that he recommended that the site should be developed as a port. Originally known as Smithwick or Smithick it later became known as Pen-y-come-quick ("the head of the narrow vale"). In 1660 a Royal proclamation changed the name to Falmouth. For nearly 300 years Falmouth remained one of the principle ports of the world, where during the mid eighteen hundreds it was not an uncommon site to see 350 ocean-going sailing ships at anchor in the "Carrick Roads" at any one time.
2. The parish church of King Charles the Martyr was built between 1662-64. On the nearby headland of Pendennis Point stands the imposing Pendennis Castle, built between 1539-64 by King Henry VIII as a defence against the French. During the Civil War the castle was held for the Crown by the 80 year old Colonel John Arundel of Trerice, who defended it during a six month siege in 1646. So impressed were the Parliamentarian besiegers with the courage of the Royalist forces, that when they finally surrendered in August 1646, they allowed the 24 officers and 900 men to march out of the castle with full military honours - bearing their weapons and banners flying.
1. Situated halfway along the length of Cornwall and mid-way between the country's north and south coasts, the city of Truro stands in a strategic position and one that has led to its development as Cornwall's centre of administration and its more recent growth as a touring and holiday centre. Its good road and rail links put it within easy reach of almost every part of Cornwall. It was one of Cornwall's "stannary" towns where tin had to be brought for testing and stamping. Eventually the shipping trade was lost to Falmouth but tin and copper mining remained important until the 18th century, a period that saw Truro become Cornwall's centre of high society and home of numerous famous and wealthy people. In 1877, the ancient Cornish See was at last re-established with Truro as its centre. That year saw Truro become a Charter city and then three years later work began on building the cathedral, a task that lasted for thirty years. Although not large by county town standards (it has an estimated population of 19,000) Truro has all the bearing of a county capital' with city, county and district council offices, and the new Crown Courts which opened in November 1988. The earliest references to Truro come, not from either the Roman or Saxon periods. but from Norman times. They constructed a castle here and it is from this, possibly, that the city's name comes - "Tre/ru" or the castle on the water, (although another theory is that the name is derived from the "three streets" - Tru-ru). The castle, long since vanished, belonged to the Earls of Cornwall. The Black Death caused a huge exodus of local people and reduced Truro to a very neglected state. One local man, Henry Martyn, became missionary in India and translated the New Testament into both Hindustani and Persian.
2. The cathedral dominates the city centre in a quite remarkable way but does not detract from the charm of some of the George streets. One of the best shopping centres in the West. Called the cathedral city. Differing in style from Truro Cathedral is Saint Mary's Aisle.
1. Because of its position at the heart of Cornwall, Newquay makes the perfect touring base to explore its history and legend. To the north-east is Tintagel where Merlin wove his spells and King Arthur held court. To the east is Roche Rock, spiritual home of the Cornish Gorsedd and the wildly beautiful moorland of Bodmin. And south is the 11th century Restormel Castle, one-time home of the Black Prince.
1. Little more than a small cluster of houses around a fine church for much of its history, St Austell was utterly transformed by the discovery in the mid-eighteenth century, by the chemist Williarn Cookworthy, of huge reserves of china clay to the north and west of the village. Put simply, china clay is decomposed granite, but the process is not common to all granite areas - it is, in fact, found in very few places in the world which made the deposits found in Cornwall and Devon particularly valuable.
2. The parish church is still the glory of St Austell, with its beautifully-carved tower of Pentewan stone.
1. Being the former County town of Cornwall, Bodmin can boast numerous interesting buildings, such as the the Turret Clock, marking the site of the ancient Butter Market, the Assize Hall, Shire House and of course the notorious Bodmin Gaol. Towering above the town on Bodmin Beacon stands the 144 ft obelisk to Lt.-Gen. Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert (1785-1853) - descendant of the Elizabethan sailors Raleigh and Gilbert - commemorating his distinguished services in India.
2. In the mainly 15th century church of St Petroc, the largest in Cornwall (with remains of monastery and priory) is St Petroc's Casket (c1170). The barracks of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry are now the Regimental Museum.
1. Saltash once the base for the largest river steamer fleet in the South West. Today Saltash is still the 'Gateway to Cornwall.'
2, Overlooking the Lynher estuary is the National Trust property of Antony House, said to be the finest Queen Anne building in the West Country. Upstream is the magnificent 12th century church of St Germans, built on the site of an earlier monastery which had been the seat of the Cornish bishops.
1. Best known as a naval base. Base for Sir Francis Drake and for the fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada (1588). Pilgrims sailed in 1620 from Plymouth on the Mayflower.
2. Roman Catholic cathedral.
3. One of the earliest Jewish communities here. Synagogue, dating from 1761, the oldest in England outside London. Community one of the four most prominent in Britain until 1815.
Cornwall information mostly from: http://cornwall-online.co.uk
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