History of Truro
There has been a town here since the 12th century when Richard Lucy, Chief Justice of England in the reign of Henry II, built a castle at the top of what is now Castle Street. Remains of the castle were found during excavations for the cattle market that was held there until recent years. It is now the site of the Courts of Justice, the County Courts for Cornwall.
The present Victorian building is on the site of the 14th century Coinage Hall. Tin was produced in the surrounding areas from the early 13th century and Truro was a stannary town from 1305. It was in this place that smelted tin was assayed and stamped before being sold and exported.
Today the Coinage Hall houses Pizza Express, Charlotte's Tea Rooms and the Antique Centre.
Truro is the County Town of Cornwall and Truro derives its name from the Cornish Tri-veru, meaning three rivers. Its cobbled streets and tiny alleyways, known as "opes" lead to the magnificent Victorian Cathedral that dominates the city.
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Camping in Cornwal 2008
"What we did pt1"
On the way down to Truro we stopped at Jamaica Inn (of Daphne du Maurier fame) on Bodmin more for those of you who do not know the story It's about an Irish orphan girl Mary who is sent to stay with Aunt Patience and Uncle Joss in Cornwall. Joss is the landlord of Jamaica Inn and also the head of a gang of pirates who lure ships to their doom on the rocky coast. Mary soon finds herself in trouble when she discovers the truth.
When we arrived at the campsite there was a gale blowing but we managed to set up the tent with out taking off with it and then settled down for a rest after the 5 hour drive.
Next day on the Sunday we visited Truro which is the capital of Cornwall just to get our bearings and to find out where the super markets were.
Then on the Monday we started our holiday proper and started to explore.
Goonhilly, at one time it was the largest satellite earth station in the world, with more than 25 communications dishes in use and over 60 in total. It's where they received the 1st signals Telstar back in the 60s. There is also some work going on there with S.E.T.I. (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). Then onto a dairy farm where you can see the young calves and where they made ice cream (yummy).
We also went to Lands End, where there were displays on the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute), History and Legends of Lands End. An exhibition of props and costumes from the Dr Who TV series (strange thing to have here) and another display from the TV series “Coast”. We also visited a restored 200 year old farmstead perched near the cliff tops, where man is believed to have lived since the Mesolithic Age.
Mevagissey was visited twice during our stay. It’s a small picturesque fishing village with very narrow streets we went a 2nd time on another day to go fishing from the harbour wall but we didn’t catch anything.
We visited the Lizard peninsular where the most Southerly part of Britain is and I think is more dramatic than Land’s End.
We also visited St Ives which is well known amoungst artist for the type of light it gets there. It’s difficult to explain but you do notice it. Here we saw seals in the harbour.
Not far from Truro was Falmouth which was a major port 100s of years ago and where they still do ship building/repairs.
St Agnes was the 1st beach we visited which was only 4 miles from the campsite and where we had our 1st latte over looking the beach and viewing the surfers.
One rainy day we visited the Eden Project, which comprises of a number of domes that house plant species from around the world, with each emulating a natural biome. The domes are made out of hundreds of hexagons plus a few pentagons that interconnect the whole construction together; each of these is a transparent cushion made of tough plastic. The first dome emulates a tropical environment, the second a warm temperate, Mediterranean environment. I was a bit disappointed due to bad weather as we had to rush through the planted outside area. But at least we kept dry during the downpour being in the domes.
"What we did pt2"
We passed through Penzance which some may have heard of through Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera Pirates of Penzance. Well what can I say about this place? We were there for about an hour and the best photo I took there was of a rusty push bike!!!
Not far from Penzance is St Michaels Mount the official residence of Lord St Levan. It’s a small island with a castle that can be reached by foot at low tide. It’s one of those strange places where you can really imagine what it’s like to be ruler of your own little kingdom.
One day we did a longer journey to North Cornwall and visited Boscastle where they had the floods 4 years ago which some of you may have heard of. The village suffered extensive damage after a flash flood caused by an exceptional amount of rain that fell over the course of five hours that afternoon. The flood in Boscastle was filmed and extensively reported. The Boscastle flooding was caused by rainfall which the river could not hold.
The rainfall on the afternoon of 16 August 2004 was very heavy. 200 mm (8 inches) of rain fell over the high ground just inland from the village. At the peak of the downpour, 24 mm of rain (almost one inch) was recorded as falling in just 15 minutes at Lesnewth, 2.5 miles (4 km) up the valley from Boscastle. In Boscastle itself, 89 mm (3.5 inches) of rain was recorded in 60 minutes.
The torrential rain led to a 2 m (7 ft) rise in river levels in one hour. A 3 m (10 ft) wave—believed to have been triggered by water pooling behind debris caught under a bridge, and then being suddenly released as the bridge collapsed—surged down the main road. Water speed was in excess of 4 m/s (10 mph), more than sufficient to cause structural damage.
84 wrecked cars were swept into the harbour & 32 out to sea and around 100 residents had to be rescued in the biggest airlift since the Second World War
It is estimated that 20 million tonnes (440 million gallons) of water flowed through Boscastle alone that day.
But today there is little evidence of this damage and now it’s again a pretty little village.
From Boscastle we went on to Tintagel where legend has it is where King Arthur was born and where we could walk out to the ruins of the 12th century Castle- birthplace of so many Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. There is also a 600-year-old traditional Cornish Longhouse which we were too late too visit once we had been around the castle
We also drove around the small villages and harbours which were all very pretty.
But my favourite place we visited was the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The short story goes...... the stately home had well maintained gardens but during the 1st world war most of the gardeners enlisted and not many came back. Between 1920 and 1990 the house was sold off and the gardens went more and more in to decay and a lot of it was forgotten. Then in 1991 some people took an interest in the history and started to dig about, literally. Well, 17 years on and they have renovated the gardens from an over grown jungle to a lovely place to visit. Also they have discovered a lot of the old methods of gardening like heating pineapple greenhouses with manure!!! They discovered gardener’s huts left as they had left them, like kettles on stoves and lists of jobs done. There was even an old “Thunder box” (toilet) with the names of the gardeners written on the wall and when they enlisted Oh well I'll let you see the photos soon.
Now were back and trying to get our garden up together. It's taking more shape now as last night I stared putting hard core down for the wall garden. This evening I'll do the hard core for the other wall garden. How's things at your place, you definitely staying now?