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Walkers Jewellers 50 Causeway Head, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 2SS, United Kingdom
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About Penzance

Penzance 

 

 is a town, civil parish and port in Cornwall, in England, United Kingdom. It is well known for being the most westerly major town in Cornwall and is approximately 75 miles (121 km) west of Plymouth and 300 miles (480 km) west-southwest of London. Situated in the shelter ofMount's Bay, the town faces south-east onto the English Channel, is bordered to the west by the fishing port of Newlyn, to the north by the civil parish of Madron and to the east by the civil parish of Ludgvan.

Granted various royal charters from 1512 onwards andincorporated in 1614, it has a population of 21,200 (2011 census).


 

 

PZHARBOURPANORAMA.jpg
A panorama of Penzance





Toponymy

 

Penzance (Pennsans), or "holy headland" in the Cornish language, is a reference to the location of a chapel nowadays called St Anthony's that is said to have stood over a thousand years ago on the headland to the west of what became Penzance Harbour. There are no early documents mentioning an actual dedication to St Anthony which seems to depend entirely on tradition and may be groundless. The only remaining object from this chapel is a carved figure, now largely eroded, known as "St Raffidy" which can be found in the churchyard of the parish church of St Mary's near the original site of the chapel. Until the 1930s this history was also reflected in the choice of symbol for the town, the severed "holy head" of St John the Baptist. It can still be seen on the civic regalia of the Mayor of Penzance and on several important landmarksin the town.

 

 



Transport 

 

 

 

The A30 from London to Land’s End is a trunk road as far as the Chy-an-Mor roundabout one mile to the east of Penzance.[54] After bypassing Penzance to the north the road continues to Land’s End mainly as a rural A route. The distance from Penzance to London is 275 miles (444 km) or approximately 5 hours by car.

Penzance railway station is at the eastern end of Market Jew Street and close to the harbour. It is the southernmost station on the UK mainland rail network. It is the western terminus of the Cornish Main Line which runs above the beach to Marazion, affording passengers good views of St. Michael's Mount and Mount's Bay. Most services are operated by First Great Western, both local services to St ErthSt IvesHayleCamborneRedruth and Truro, and direct trains linking Penzance with PlymouthExeter St David'sBristol Temple MeadsReading and London Paddington. The Night Riviera train offers an overnight sleeping car service to and from Reading and London. Journey time to Plymouth is typically under 2 hours; to Bristol around 4 hours, and London less than 5½ hours.

CrossCountry run a small number of services (departing in the morning, arriving in the evening) to Glasgow Central via Bristol, Birmingham New StreetManchester Piccadilly, also to Dundee via Bristol, Birmingham, LeedsYorkNewcastle Central and Edinburgh Waverley. The journey time is just under 5½ hours to Birmingham, and nearly 10 hours to Glasgow.

The bus and coach station is next to the railway station from where National Express operates coach services to London Victoria (taking around 9 hours) via Heathrow Airport. Local bus services run by First Devon and Cornwall connect Penzance with most major settlements in Cornwall, including TruroSt. IvesSt JustSt BuryanLand's End and alsoPlymouth in DevonWestern Greyhound also run a small amount of rural services to various destinations on the North Cornwall coast.

 

 

 

 

Scillonian III docked in Penzance Harbour

 

 

 

 

 

Economy

 

 

Penzance Harbour and surrounding area as seen from the air 

 

The economy of Penzance has, like those of many Cornish communities, suffered from the decline of the traditional industries of fishing, mining and agriculture. Penzance now has a mixed economy consisting of light industrial, tourism and retail businesses. However, like the rest of Cornwall, housing remains comparatively expensive, wages low and unemployment high. In 2007, house prices rose 274% from 10 years prior, the fastest rise in the UK. The fishing port of Newlyn, which falls within the parish boundaries, provides some employment in the area, but has also been greatly affected by the decline in the fishing industry over the last 30 years. In the 2004 index of deprivation Penzance is listed as having 3 wards within the top 10% for employment deprivation, Penzance East (125th most deprived in England) Penzance West (200th most deprived in England), and Penzance Central (712th most deprived in England). 18-31% of households in the parish are described as "poor households". The Penzance East Ward also has one of the highest unemployment rates in Cornwall, stated as 15.4%

 

 

 

Main sights

 

 

 

 

Jubilee Pool, Penzance

 

 

 

 

St Mary's Church, Chapel Street






 

Large sections of Penzance are classified as ″conservation areas″ under the Penwith local plan and are subject to special planning laws. The current conservation area forms most of the core of the town of Penzance and the historic harbour areas of Newlyn and Mousehole. A number of Georgian and Regency buildings are present in the town. However, the majority of developments in the town centre itself are of mixed date, including several 20th-century buildings – one of which, the former Pearl Assurance building (now the TremenheereWetherspoon's pub), was subject to comment by Sir John Betjeman  who wrote, in 1963:

"Penzance has done much to destroy its attractive character. The older houses in the narrow centre round the market hall have been pulled down and third-rate commercial 'contemporary', of which the Pearl Assurance building is a nasty example, are turning it into Slough".

Penzance's former main street Chapel Street has a number of interesting features, including the Egyptian House, the Union Hotel (including a Georgian theatre which is no longer in use) and Branwell House, where the mother and aunt of the famousBrontë sisters once lived. The Georgian theatre was built in c. 1787, closed in 1831 and is said to be where the first public announcement of Nelson's victory atTrafalgar. Regency, and Georgian terraces and houses (such as Regents Square and Clarence Street) are common in some parts of the town. The nearby sub-tropical Morrab Gardens, has a large collection of tender trees and shrubs, many of which cannot be grown outdoors anywhere else in the UK. Also of interest is the seafront with its promenade and the open-air seawater Jubilee Bathing Pool(one of the oldest surviving Art Deco swimming baths in the country), built during Penzance's heyday as a fashionable seaside resort. The pool was designed by Captain F. Latham, the Penzance Borough Engineer, and opened in 1935, the year of King George V's Silver Jubilee.The grade II listed pool is triangular with graceful curves and is considered the best surviving example of its type, with the exception of the Saltdean Lido in Brighton. The pool is currently closed because of storm damage from February 2014.

Penzance promenade has been destroyed in parts several times by storms. The most recent example was on 7 March 1962 (Ash Wednesday), when large parts of the western end of the promenade, the nearby Bedford Bolitho Gardens (now a play park) and the village of Wherrytown suffered severe damage. On the outskirts of town is Trereife House, a grade II listedQueen Anne stylemanor house which now offers accommodation and hosts events.

 


Education  



Penzance is home to two state run comprehensive schools (Mount's Bay Academy and Humphry Davy School) and oneChurch of England independent school (Bolitho School). Bolitho School was founded in the early 1990s following the financial collapse of the former School of St. Clare. Post 16 education is catered for by Penwith College, founded in 1981 from the sixth form departments of the former Penzance Girls' Grammar School and the Humphry Davy Grammar School. Throughout the Penzance parish there are 8 primary schools, including the newly created Pensans Primary School which was formed in 2006 from the former Penzance Junior School and the Lescudjack Infants School. There is also a special educational needs school within the parish boundary named Nancealverne.

 



Culture

 

 

 

Mayor and Mock Mayor speeches at the Golowan Festival 2005.

 

 


Every June since 1991 the 
Golowan Festival (which includes Mazey Day) has been held in the town. Before the 1930s Penzance was the scene of large May Day celebrations, which saw local children making and using tin 'May horns' and 'May whistles'; a small revival of these traditions took place on 4 May 2008. The feast day of Corpus Christi was also celebrated in Penzance. The Corpus Christi fair has been a long-standing event in the town, and is currently undergoing attempts to revive it in a more traditional format.

 

Allantide, a Cornish version of Halloween, was also a popular activity in the town. Many of these customs were recorded by local antiquarian M. A. Courtney and have influenced historical views of traditional Cornish cultural activities.

In October 2010 the first full festival of music and the arts - the Penzance Proms - was held (23–31 October)

Every December Penzance holds the Montol Festival a community arts event reviving many of the Cornish customs of Christmas, including Guise dancing.

 

 

 

Religion




As in other Cornish towns and villages Methodism is the predominant Christian denomination. Prior to the 1980s Penzance had six Methodist churches, but this number has now been reduced to two, Chapel Street and High Street. There are Methodist churches in most of the surrounding villages including Newlyn's Trinity Methodist which operates The Centre, a busy multi-use church and community facility. Penzance is also home to a Salvation Army citadel, a Roman Catholic church, two Church of England parish churches (formerly three), a Christadelphian meeting hall,] two Evangelical independent churches, the Penwith pagan moot, an independent Baptist church and a Buddhist meditation group.

St Mary's Church was built in 1832–35, St Paul's (now closed) in 1843 and St John's in 1881. Penzance was formerly in the parish of Madron but St Mary's parish was established in 1871 and St Paul's in 1869. Two medieval chapels (see above, History) are known to have existed before the Reformation. St Mary's chapel was consecrated in 1680 but was in existence three hundred years earlier and the licensing of it in 1379 is recorded. The chaplain's stipend was £4 p.a. from the manor of Alverton. In 1549 its endowments were seized by the Crown though the burgesses made representations that they should not be. Thomas Lamplugh Bishop of Exeter by much cajolery induced the mayor and burgesses to consent to consecration of the chapel in 1680. The curate then had a stipend of £5 p.a.


 

Religion




As in other Cornish towns and villages Methodism is the predominant Christian denomination. Prior to the 1980s Penzance had six Methodist churches, but this number has now been reduced to two, Chapel Street and High Street. There are Methodist churches in most of the surrounding villages including Newlyn's Trinity Methodist which operates The Centre, a busy multi-use church and community facility. Penzance is also home to a Salvation Army citadel, a Roman Catholic church, two Church of England parish churches (formerly three), a Christadelphian meeting hall, two Evangelical independent churches, the Penwith pagan moot, an independent Baptist church and a Buddhist meditation group.

St Mary's Church was built in 1832–35, St Paul's (now closed) in 1843 and St John's in 1881. Penzance was formerly in the parish of Madron but St Mary's parish was established in 1871 and St Paul's in 1869. Two medieval chapels (see above, History) are known to have existed before the Reformation. St Mary's chapel was consecrated in 1680 but was in existence three hundred years earlier and the licensing of it in 1379 is recorded. The chaplain's stipend was £4 p.a. from the manor of Alverton. In 1549 its endowments were seized by the Crown though the burgesses made representations that they should not be. Thomas Lamplugh Bishop of Exeter by much cajolery induced the mayor and burgesses to consent to consecration of the chapel in 1680. The curate then had a stipend of £5 p.a.


 

 

 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penzance 


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