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Bradshaw’s Guide

The beach, Falmouth, Cornwall, England. Taken between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. Original: Library of Congress


This town was formerly an important mail racket station. Below it are Pendennis Castle and St. Anthony’s Light, on the opposite sides of the entrance. The former, built by Henry VIII., was famous in the civil war for its resistance to parliament, against whose forces it held out till 1646. The richest mines are in the granite moorlands to the north, near St. Agnes, &c, or in the neighbourhood of the rail to Penzance. Trefusis, beautifully situated on the opposite side of the harbour, is the seat of Lord Clinton.

There are some remains of the ancient seat of the Killigrews, Aricenach House; opposite is St. Mawes Castle, a circular tower of Henry VIII’s building. Days may be spent in exploring the creeks and rounding the headlands of this vicinity, and not be lost time. A journey by Mawnan and the picturesque shores of the river Helford, with a passing visit, if you please, to the small Cornish pebble, Tolmean, a huge block of granite, 800 tons weight, at Constantine, will bring us to

Helston taking its name from the marshy tract between it and the sea, is a parliamentary borough, but not otherwise remarkable. Meneage was the old name for the corner of Cornwall (down to the Lizard), it has good pasture, and a breed of small moorland horses. The Goonhills Downs run through the middle. Wallowarren, the seat of Sir R. Vyvyan, Bart., is near to Marogan’s old church. The metal Titanium was first discovered at Manaccan on Helford Creek. St. Keverne was the birth-place of Incledon, the singer. Off the coast are the Manacle Rocks. The cliffs here are serpentine, soapstone, &c., covered with a profusion of heath, and extend past Black Head to the Lizard. This headland, which homeward bound ships from the westward always try to get sight of, is 18 miles from Penzance, and low, but pointed, whence the ancient name, Ocrinum, a corruption of Acritum. A little north-west of it is Kynance Cove, a place frequently visited by parties, on account of its high serpentine and soapstone cliffs, which exhibit the most beautiful colours, and contains little veins of minerals and spars. Vases and other ornaments are made from this stone. At Cury, a short distance to the north, is an ash tree 27 feet in circumference.

In the district of Kerrier, which offers much to interest the naturalist, in particular, are the following — Trevena Mine is near; Godolphin, also, the old seat of that ancient family (now represented by the Duke of Leeds), is on a hill, in the same parish, with a valuable mine at Wheal Vor.

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Places nearby

  • Cornwall : Marazion Road

    A little more than a mile to our left is Marazion, or Market Jew, of some importance in the middle ages as the place of resort for pilgrims proceeding to St. Michael’s Mount.

  • Cornwall : Penzance

    This flourishing port is at the farther end of Cornwall, on the west side of Mount’s Bay, at the terminus of the West Cornwall Railway.

  • Cornwall : St. Ives

    With a population of 10,353, chiefly depending on the coasting trade and pilchard fishery.