Penzance was originally a fishing village and became a town in 1332 and derives its name from the Cornish words of Penn and Sans. Literally meaning holy (Sans) headland (Penn) in reference to the chapel that was once located on the headland that is now found at the end of Chapel Street.
The magnificent curved bay (Mount's Bay) extends from Cudden Point to the east round to Mousehole, past Newlyn to the west and cradled within is the magnificent St. Michael's Mount.
Penzance like most towns suffered from outbreaks of the plague and was attacked and burned by the Spanish on 1595.
Penzance was given a charter in 1332 and a new charter in 1614 which gave a mayor and corporation and in 1663, Penzance was made a coinage town by Charles I, allowing it to weigh and tax tin. In the eighteenth century, the tin industry in Cornwall grew dramatically with Penzance being one of the main tin export centres along with its other exports of smoked pilchards and grains.
The inventor of the miners lamp (Davy Lamp), Sir Humphrey Davy was born in Penzance in 1778.
Jan Harvey (actress) was born in Penzance.
Simon A. Forward - the author or many Doctor Who books was also born in Penzance.
Richard Edmonds (scientist)
Davies Gilbert (Engineer, author and politician)
Nearby places of interest:
National Lighthouse Museum
Trencrom Hill Fort - an Iron Age hill fort
St. Michael's Mount is accessible by boat when the tide is in or via the causeway when out. After the Norman invasion, a church was built on the summit of the island and St. Michael's Mount was granted to the Benedictine Abbey of Mont St. Michel in France. St. Michael's Mount is said to have experienced four miracles and in 495, fishermen witnessed the apparition of Archangel St. Michael. All of which added to the draw of this place as an important religious centre.
In 1588, the first warning beacon was lit atop the Mount to warn of the impending arrival of the Spanish Armada.
During the Civil War, Royalists held the Mount against Oliver Cromwell.
In the 17th century, the St.Aubyn family moved to the Mount and 12 years later, they purchased it from the Bassett family and it has remained the St. Aubyn family home ever since. However, the Mount is now owned by the National Trust, having been given to the Trust in 1954, with the family retaining a 999 year lease.
The text and photographs contained herein are owned by David K. Williamson with whom the copyright remains.
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