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Truro ( ; ) is a city in Cornwallmarker, Englandmarker, United Kingdommarker, and is the centre for administration, leisure and retail in Cornwall, with a population of 20,920. It is the only city in the county, and the most southerly city in Great Britainmarker. People from Truro are known as Truronians.

Truro initially grew as an important centre of trade from its port, and then as a stannary town for the mining industry. The city is well-known for its cathedralmarker (completed in 1910), cobbled streets, open spaces and Georgian architecture, and places of interest include the Royal Cornwall Museummarker, the Hall for Cornwallmarker, Cornwall's Courts of Justicemarker and Cornwall Council.


The origin of Truro's name is debated. It is said to be derived from the Cornish tri-veru meaning "three rivers", but references such as the Oxford and Cambridge Dictionaries of English Place Names reject this theory. At best, the Tru- part could mean "three", though this is doubtful. The chief expert on Cornish place-names, Oliver Padel, in his book A popular dictionary of Cornish place-names said the `three rivers' meaning is "possible".


The earliest records and archaeological findings of a permanent settlement in the Truro area originate from Norman times . A castle was built in the 12th century by Richard de Luci, Chief Justice of England in the reign of Henry II, who was granted land in Cornwall for his services to the court, including the area surrounding the confluence of the two rivers. He planted the town in the shadow of the castle and awarded it borough status to further economic activity. (The castle has long since disappeared).

By the start of the 14th century Truro was an important port , thanks firstly to its inland location away from invaders and its prosperity from the fishing industry, but also to its new role as one of Cornwall's stannary towns for the official assaying and stamping of locally-produced tin and copper in Cornish mines. However, the Black Death soon arrived and with it, a trade recession, resulting in a mass exodus of the population and, as such the town was left in a very neglected state .

Trade returned to Truro with help from the government and the town was very prosperous during the Tudor period. Self-governance was awarded in 1589 by the granting of a new charter by Elizabeth I , which gave Truro an elected mayor and control over the port of Falmouthmarker.

During the Civil War in the 17th century, Truro raised a sizable force to fight for the King and a royalist mint was set up in the town. However, defeat to the Parliamentary troops came in 1646 and the mint was moved to Exetermarker. Further disheartenment came later in the century when Falmouth was awarded its own charter giving it rights to its harbour, starting a long rivalry between the two towns. The dispute was eventually settled in 1709 with control of the River Falmarker being divided between Truro and Falmouth.

Boscawen Street in 1810
Truro prospered greatly during the 18th and 19th centuries. Industry flourished thanks to improved mining methods and higher prices for tin, and the town soon became the place to be for wealthy mine owners. Elegant Georgian and Victorian townhouses were built—such as those seen today on Lemon Street, named after the mining magnate and local MP Sir William Lemon—and Truro became the centre for high society in the county, being mentioned as "the London of Cornwall".

The Cathedral in 1905, before completion of the spires
Throughout these prosperous times Truro remained a social centre and many notable people hailed from it. One of the most noteworthy residents was Richard Lander, an explorer who discovered the source of the River Niger in Africa and was awarded the first gold medal of the Royal Geographical Societymarker. Others include Humphry Davy, educated in Truro and inventor of the miner's safety lamp, and Samuel Foote, an actor and playwright from Boscawen Street.

Truro's importance increased later in the 19th century and it had its own iron smelting works, potteries, and tanneries. The Great Western Railway arrived in Truro in the 1860s with a direct line from London Paddingtonmarker, and the Bishopric of Truromarker bill was passed in 1876 which gave the town a bishop, then a cathedral. The next year Queen Victoria granted Truro city status.

The start of the 20th century saw the decline of the mining industry, however the city remained prosperous as its previous role as a market town shifted to being the administrative and commercial centre of Cornwall, and saw substantial development. Today, Truro continues its role as the retail centre of Cornwall but, like many other cities, faces concerns over the disappearance of many of its renowned speciality shops for national chain stores, the eroding of its identity, and also over how to accommodate future expected growth in the 21st century.


Truro is located in the centre of western Cornwall approximately 9 miles (14 km) from the south coast on the confluence of the rivers Kenwynmarker and Allen, which both combine to become the Truro Rivermarker, one of a series of creeks, rivers and drowned valleys leading into the River Falmarker and then onto the large natural harbour of Carrick Roadsmarker. The river valleys form a bowl surrounding the city on the north, east and west and open to the Truro River in the south. The fairly steep-sided bowl in which Truro is located, along with high precipitation swelling the rivers and a spring tide in the River Fal, were major factors in the cause of floods seen in 1988 which caused large amounts of damage to the city centre. Since then, flood defences have been constructed around the city, including an emergency dam at New Mill on the River Kenwyn and a tidal barrier on the Truro River, to prevent future problems.

The city is surrounded by a number of protected natural areas such as the historic parklands at Pencalenick, and larger areas of ornamental landscape, such as Trelissick Gardenmarker and Tregothnanmarker further down the Truro River. An area south-east of the city, around and including Calenick Creek, has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Other protected areas include an Area of Great Landscape Value comprising agricultural land and wooded valleys to the north east, and Daubuz Moors, a Local Nature Reserve located alongside the River Allen close to the city centre.

Truro has mainly grown and developed around the historic city centre in a nucleated fashion along the slopes of the bowl valley, with an exception being fast linear development along the A390 to the west, towards Threemilestonemarker. As Truro has grown, it—like any other city—has incorporated a number of settlements, turning them into suburbs or unofficial districts. These include Kenwynmarker and Moresk to the north, Trelander to the east, Newham to the south, and Highertown, Treliske and Gloweth to the west as a result of the far stretching development in that area.


The west front of the Cathedral


Truro's most recognisable feature is its gothic-revival Cathedralmarker, designed by architect John Loughborough Pearson and rising above the city at its highest spire. It took 30 years to build, from 1880 to 1910, and was built on the site of the old St. Mary's Church, consecrated over 600 years earlier. Enthusiasts of Georgian architecture are well catered for in the city, with terraces and townhouses along Walsingham Place and Lemon Street often said to be "the finest examples of Georgian architecture west of the city of Bathmarker".

The main attraction for local residents in the region is the wide variety of shops. Truro has a selection of chain stores, speciality shops and markets, which reflect its historic tradition as a market town. The indoor Pannier Market is open year-round with many stalls and small businesses. The city is also popular for its eateries, including cafés and bistros. Additionally, it has emerged as a popular destination for nightlife with many bars, clubs and restaurants opening. Truro is also known for the Hall for Cornwallmarker, a performing arts and entertainment venue.

The Royal Cornwall Museummarker is the oldest and premier museum in Cornwall for exhibitions detailing Cornish history and culture, with a wide range of collections such as archaeology, art and geology. Among the exhibits of the museum there is the so called Arthur's inscribed stone. Truro is also noted for its parks and open spaces, including Victoria Gardens, Boscawen Park and Daubuz Moors.


Lemon Quay
The piazza at Lemon Quay is the centre of most festivities in Truro, which attracts visitors year-round with numerous different events.

In April, Truro prepares to partake in the Britain in Bloom competition, with many floral displays and hanging baskets dotted around the city throughout the summer. A "continental market" also comes to Truro during the season and features food and craft stalls from all over Europe including Francemarker, Spainmarker, Italymarker, Germanymarker, Belgiummarker, the Netherlandsmarker and Greecemarker.

Cornwall's first Gay Pride event took place in Truro in August 2008, and the Truro City Carnival takes place every September over a weekend, including various arts and music performances, children's activities, a fireworks display, food and drinks fairs, a circus, and a parade. A half-marathon also takes place in September, with hundreds of participants running from the city centre into the countryside towards Shortlanesendmarker, and returning to finish at Lemon Quay.

Truro celebrates the Christmas season with its Winter Festival, which includes a paper lantern parade known as the City of Lights Procession, Christmas lights throughout the city centre as well a "big switch-on" event, speciality products and crafts fairs, late-night shopping evenings, various events at the Cathedral and a fireworks display on New Year's Eve. A Christmas tree is put up on the Piazza, and another outside the Cathedral at High Crossmarker. One notable Christmas celebration was the Winter Festival of 2006, which, after a badly executed fundraising operation left the city with underwhelming decorations the year before, featured extensive festivities and decoration including an artificial ski slope constructed on Lemon Quay, resulting in a much more successful festival.


Truro was the new home to the National Division One rugby club, the Cornish Pirates, after a move from Penzancemarker; however the team is currently relocated at Cambornemarker while discussions about the construction of a new stadium are being made, currently planned for Threemilestonemarker. The city is also home to Truro City F.C.marker, a football team in the Southern Football League Division One South & West, the only Cornish club ever to reach this tier of the football pyramid. The club achieved national recognition when they won the FA Vase in 2007, beating A.F.C.marker Tottonmarker 3–1 in only the second ever final at the new Wembley Stadiummarker, and becoming the first Cornish side ever to win the FA Vase.Other sporting amenities include a leisure centre, golf course, cricket pitch, and tennis courts.


Truro is the centre of Cornwall's local media. The county-wide weekly newspaper, The West Briton, is based in the city and serves the Truro area with its Truro and Mid-Cornwall edition. The city is also home to the broadcasting studios of the county-wide radio station BBC Radio Cornwall, and the studios of the West district of ITV Westcountry, whose main studio is now located in Bristolmarker after ITV Westcountry merged with ITV West, the studio in Plymouthmarker was closed and Westcountry Live was replaced by The West Country Tonight

Demographics and economy

Sunday morning on Pydar Street
Truro's popularity within Cornwall as the number one destination for retail and leisure, and its role as the administrative centre of the county, is unusual compared to other cities in the country given that it is the fourth most populous settlement in Cornwall. Furthermore, population growth has been slow compared to other Cornish towns and Cornwall as a whole, at 10.5% during the 1971–1998 period.

There are approximately 22,000 jobs available in Truro; major employers in the city include the Royal Cornwall Hospitalmarker, Cornwall County Council, and Truro Collegemarker. The number of jobs is more than twice the number of economically active people living in the city, at 9,500. This results in a large amount of commuting which is a major factor in the traffic congestion problems from which the city suffers. Earnings on average are higher than the rest of Cornwall.

Housing prices in Truro are at an all-time high, also being 8% more expensive than the rest of Cornwall. Truro was named in 2006 as the top small city in the United Kingdommarker for increasing house prices, at 262% since 1996. There is a large demand for new housing in the city, and a call for inner city properties to be converted into flats or houses to encourage city centre living and to alleviate the dependence on cars.



Georgian architecture at Walsingham Place
Truro City Council, a parish council, is situated within City Hall in Boscawen Street, and is responsible for parks, gardens and planting, mayoral and civic events, support of its overseas twinning, tourist information, and the liaising with Cornwall Council over planning, infrastructure, development and environmental issues, over which the unitary council administers. The city is divided into four wards - Boscawen, Moresk, Tregolls and Trehaverne, with 24 councillors elected for four-year terms. The current mayor is Rosamund Cox.


Truro is twinned with:


Roads and bus services

Truro is 6 miles (9 km) from the A30 trunk road, to which it is connected by the A39 leading from Falmouthmarker and Penrynmarker. Wrapping the city's south side is the A390, stretching from Redruthmarker in the west to Liskeardmarker in the east where it connects to the A38, which then goes on to Plymouthmarker and further to Exetermarker and the M5 motorway. Truro is the most southerly city in the United Kingdom, situated just under 232 miles (373 km) west south-west of Charing Crossmarker, Londonmarker.

The city and surrounding area is served by extensive bus services offering routes in and out of the city in all directions, starting and terminating at the main bus depotmarker near Lemon Quay. The headquarters of the mid-Cornwall bus operator Truronian are also located there, as are the starting points for many of the First Group services covering a wider area. A permanent Park and Ride scheme began operation in August 2008. Based at Langarth Park in Threemilestonemarker, buses carry commuters into the city centre via Truro Collegemarker, the Royal Cornwall Hospitalmarker, County Hall and Truro railway stationmarker. Coach services including Truronian and National Express also operate from Truro, providing transport to and from larger cities up-country.


Truro railway stationmarker is a short walk from the city centre and is part of the Cornish Main Line, giving the city a direct connection to London Paddingtonmarker. North-east of the station is a 28 metre (92 ft) high stone viaduct offering expansive views over the city, cathedral, and Truro Rivermarker in the distance. The viaduct—the longest on the line—replaced Isambard Kingdom Brunel's wooden Carvedras Viaduct in 1904. Connecting to the main line at Truro station is the Maritime Line, a branch line which travels south and terminates at Falmouth.

Truro's first railway station was at Highertown, which was opened in 1852 by the West Cornwall Railway and from where trains ran to Redruthmarker and Penzancemarker. It was known as Truro Road Station & was located just west of Highertown Tunnel on the up side.The line was extended to the Truro River at Newham in 1855.Then Truro Road Station closed and Newham served as the Terminus. When the Cornwall Railway connected the line to Plymouth, their trains ran to a new station above the city centre,where the present station is now. The West Cornwall Railway (WCR) then diverted most of its passenger trains to the new station, leaving Newham mainly as a goods station until it closed in 1971. The WCR became part of the Great Western Railway. The route from Highertown to Newham is now a cycle path which takes a leisurely loop through the countryside on the south side of the city. Truro is also known as the namesake of the famous steam locomotive, the City of Truro, built in 1903 and still operational on UK mainline and preserved railways..

Air and river transport

Newquay Airportmarker is Cornwall's main airport and is located 12 miles (19 km) north of Truro. One of the fastest-growing regional airports in the UK, the services and destinations are constantly expanding. The airport offers regular flights to and from London Gatwickmarker, London Stanstedmarker and other cities around the country, the Isles of Scillymarker and Düsseldorfmarker in Germanymarker, winter services to Genevamarker in Switzerlandmarker and Chambérymarker in Francemarker and summer services to Alicantemarker and Gironamarker in Spainmarker, Zurich in Switzerlandmarker and Saint-Brieuc in Francemarker.

Also available is a boat link to Falmouthmarker along the Rivers Truro and Falmarker, four times daily, tide permitting. The small fleet run by Enterprise Boats and part of the Fal River Links also stops at Malpas, Trelissick, Tolvernemarker and St Mawesmarker.


The old parish church of Truro was St Mary's, incorporated into the cathedral in the later 19th century. Parts of the town were in the parishes of Kenwynmarker and St Clement (Moreskmarker) until the mid 19th century when other parishes were created. St George's church in Truro, designed by the Reverend William Haslam, vicar of Baldhumarker, was built in 1855 (the parish was formed from part of Kenwyn in 1846). In 1865 two more parishes were created: St John's from part of Kenwyn and St Paul's from part of St Clement.


Educational institutions in Truro include:


Lower Lemon Street
Truro has many proposed development schemes and plans, the majority of which are intended to counter the main problems it faces, notably traffic congestion and lack of housing.

Major proposals include the construction of a distributor road to carry traffic away from the very busy Threemilestone-Treliske-Highertown corridor, reconnecting at either Green Lane or Morlaix Avenue. This road will also serve the new housing planned for that area.

Major changes are also proposed for the city centre, such as pedestrianisation of the main shopping streets and beautification of a list of uncharacteristic storefronts built in the 1960s. Also, new retail developments on the current Carrick District Council site and Garras Wharf waterfront site will provide more space for shops, open spaces and public amenities and also turn rather ugly areas of the city into attractive new destinations. Along with the redevelopment of the waterfront, a tidal barrier is planned to dam water into the Truro River which is currently blighted by unsightly mud banks which appear at low tide.

Controversial developments include the construction of a new stadium for Truro City F.C.marker and the Cornish Pirates, and the relocation of the city's golf course to make way for more housing. A smaller project is the addition of two large sculptures in the Piazza.

Notable residents

  • 18th century
    • Edward Boscawen — an admiral of the Royal Navy. A cobbled street at the centre of Truro and a park are named in his honour.

  • 18th/19th century
    • Henry Martyn — Cambridge mathematician, missionary in India and Persia, translated the Bible into local languages.

The Headland Hotel, Newquay, architect Silvanus Trevail

See also

The River Kenwyn, which converges with the Allen and becomes the River Truro


External links

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