More about Penzance
A timeline of history for Penzance (but applicable to a wider
area) taken from [Saundry 1931
& 1936]. Take care that this is read in the context of
the publication date, particularly for the later years.
A proportion of the same text can be found in [Rees 1956]. Additional material from this
source has been emphasised.
Interesting and Notable Events
Connected with Penzance &c.,
From A.D. 1014
Inaugurated by the late CHARLES H. UREN
- 1014—Mount’s Bay inundated by a “mickle
seaflood” when many towns and people were drowned.
- 1099—The Bay again inundated by the Sea.
- 1265—Appropriation of Madron Parish by Knights
- 1284—Chantry of St. Mary’s founded.
- 1332—Edward III. granted a weekly market on
Wednesdays and a fair of seven days at the festival of St.
Peter (29th June).
- 1397—Chapel of St. Mary, or Our Lady, licenced by
Bishop of Exeter.
- 1404—Penzance Market granted by Henry IV. to Lord
- 1497—September, Perkin Warbeck landed at Whitesand
- 1512—Mar. 16. Charter from Henry VIII. granting
profits from all ships visiting the harbour.
- 1514—Marazion burnt by the French.
- 1537—August. Naval Engagement in Mount’s Bay
between the French and English.
- 1578—Town visited by plague.
- 1592—Royal Grant of Market to Penzance by Queen
- 1595—July. Spaniards landed at Mousehole, and burnt
part of Penzance.
- 1598—Royal Charter granted to Marghasiewe (Marazion)
by Queen ELizabeth confirming the Charter granted by Henry III
- 1614—May 9. Penzance incorporated as a Borough by
Charter granted by James I. John Maddern the first Mayor
- 1629—Penzance Market tolls let for £13.
- 1630—Penzance Quay Dues let for £21 (earliest
- 1634—Turkish Pirates infest the coast.
[“Turk” was a description of any raider of Moorish
or North African origin]
- 1642—The Mount seized by Charles I.
- 1646 & 1648—Town sacked by the Parliamentary
- 1647—Town again visited by plague.
- 1656—Penzance Quay dues let for £25 per
- 1663—Penzance created a Coinage Town by Royal
Charter. Ceased in 1838.
- 1670—The Silver Maces now in use provided.
- 1680—St. Mary’s consecrated as a Chapel-of-ease
- 1686—The four Borough Boundary stones set up.
- 1704—School for Poor at Madron founded by George
- 1721—New Regalia of Penzance Mayoralty
- 1740—Battery built on rocks near the Old Quay.
- 1742–3—Fire Engine and Twelve Leather Buckets
purchased by the Corporation.
- 1743—John Wesley first Preached on Wesley Rock at
- 1757—Old Reservoir, Causewayhead, constructed.
- 1760—Pirates visited Penzance.
- 1766—Old Pier built. Extended in 1785, in 1812 and in
- 1768—Jews’ Old Synagogue built.
- 1769—“Mount Sinai” (Freemasons) Lodge
- 1777—Quakers’ (second) Meeting House
- 1778—Dec. 17. Sir Humphry Davy born in Market-jew
Street. Died at Geneva, 29th May, 1829.
Wherry Tin Mine commenced working. Ceased in 1838.
- 1779—Grammar School founded by the Corperation.
Closed 1898. Rev. Trimer Bennett the last Master.
The Mount Batteries fire on Pirate Ship. The last Engagement in
- 1791—Assembly Room, Union Hotel, built by private
- 1795—First Lighthouse on the Longships erected.
- 1797—First Exhibition of Penwith Agricultural
- 1801—Population 3,382.
- 1807—Independent Chapel built. Enlarged 1870.
- 1809—Public Dispensary instituted.
- 1811—Population 4,022.
- 1814—Wesleyan Chapel built. Enlarged 1864.
Royal Geological Society of Cornwall founded at Penzance by Dr.
- 1815—Oct. 19. Capstone (weighing 3 tons) of Lanyon
Quoit, Madron, blown off in a gale of wind. Replaced in
- 1817—Jan. 20. Great Storm and extraordinary High
Tide. Much damage (£5,000) done to the Quay, Shipping,
Boats, Houses etc.
Trengwainton Mansion House erected by Sir Rose Price,
- 1818—Penzance Library established. Removed to Morrab
Savings Bank established. Closed 1893.
- 1821—Population 5,224.
- 1824—April 18. The Logan Rock thrown off its balance
by Lieut. Goldsmith. Replaced November, 1824.
- 1825—The first steamer came into Penzance
- 1826—Commercial Buildings, Parade Street
Borough Gaol erected at St. Clare Street. Sold in 1867.
Western Hotel built.
Old Poor House on Market-jew Terrace taken down.
First Lifeboat stationed at Penzance. Since then seven other
Lifeboats have been placed here, and 167 lives saved. Closed
- 1827—September 24, 26 & 27. Grand Wrestling
Leskinnick Water Shoot erected.
- 1829—Clarence Street Water Shoot erected.
- 1830—Gas first introduced into Penzance.
First Waterworks for Penzance.
- 1831—Population 6,563.
- 1832—Foundation Stone of St. Mary’s Church
Penzance made a Polling-place for West Cornwall.
- 1833—Water Shoots at top of Quay Street and at Parade
- 1834—National School, Abbey Street erected. Since
used as a School for Cookery.
- 1835—Shamble Market erected.
- 1836—Baptist Chapel built.
Old Market House taken down.
- 1837—Penwith Annuitant Society established.
- 1838—June 14. Present Market House opened.
Penzance Union Workhouse built at Madron.
- 1839—“Penzance Gazette” first
Primitive Methodist Chapel built. Enlarged 1899.
Natural History and Antiquarian Society instituted.
- 1841—Population 8,578.
- 1843—St. Paul’s Church erected. Enlarged
Western Promenade constructed.
- 1844—Butter and Vegetable Market built.
- 1845—Feb. 26. Oddfellows’ Lodge
July. Foundation Stone of Albert Pier laid.
- 1846—July. Flooding of East Wheal Rose 43 men
Sept. 5. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the Bay and
St. Michael’s Mount, the latter landing at Penzance
- 1847—Roman Catholic Church built.
- 1848—The Institute established.
Chess Club instituted.
- 1850—“Cornish Telegraph” Newspaper first
Beacons erected on the Cressers and Ryeman Rocks.
- 1851—No. 1 Reservoir, Madron, constructed.
Mary Kelynack, an old Newlyn fishwife, walked from Penzance to
London with her fish cowl on her back to see Queen Victoria who
accepted ½-lb. of Tea from her as a present from
Waterworks and Sewarge Scheme commenced.
- 1852—Aug. 25. West Cornwall Railway opened from
Penzance to Truro.
- 1853—School of Art opened at the Temperance
Old Pier extended.
Old St. Hilary Church burnt on Good Friday, March 25th.
- 1854—Serpentine Works erected at Wherry Town.
Nov. 18. Newlyn Fishing-Boat, “Mystery,” sailed to
- 1855 and 1856—Horse Races on the Eastern Green.
- 1856—Cemetery opened.
All England Eleven Cricket Match at Clowance.
- 1858—Choral Society Established.
Cricket Club instituted.
- 1859—Rifle Volunteer Corps formed.
- 1860—Balcony of Star Hotel removed.
June. Exhibition of Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association at
Artillery Volunteer Corps formed at St. Buryan. Removed to
Penzance in 1887.
- 1861—Queen’s Hotel built. Enlarged 1871 and
Sept. 10. Foresters’ Court established.
New Church at Marazion built.
- 1861–69—Lighthouse prepared at the Trinity
Yard, Old Quay, for erection on the Wolf Rock. First lighted in
- 1862—Foresters’ fete at Nancealverne.
- 1863—Oct. Swimming Matches first held.
- 1864—Post office removed from Chapel Street to Market
Railings placed along Market-jew Street Terrace.
Corpus Christi Fair held on site of Public Buildings for the
- 1865—Peal of Bells placed in St. Mary’s Church
July 24. Visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales, Alexandra
July 24. Horse Races on the Eastern Green.
Railings placed on the Western Promenade for the first
Wesleyan Day Schools built at Chapel Street. Enlarged
- 1866—St. Peter’s Church, Newlyn,
- 1867—“Three Tuns” Hotel, Green Market,
February. Railway Viaduct at Chyandour washed down.
St. Paul’s Ecclesiastical Parish formed.
Parade Passage widened.
Sept. 9 and 10. Public Buildings opened.
- 1868—Jan. 31. Railway Viaduct washed away the second
time. Stone viaduct constructed soon after.
- 1869—Pottery Works at the Folly closed.
June. Exhibition of Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association
held at Penzance.
Predicted tidal wave at Penzance, flowed as high as top of
Promenade wall on a calm day.
- 1870—“Tidings” Newspaper first
Last time the Old Borough Bounds were beaten.
- 1870–1871—Extension Pier widened.
- 1871—Mayor’s Chain and Badge purchased.
St. Mary’s Ecclesiastical Parish formed.
National Schools, Queen Street, built.
- 1872—Oct. 17. Sir Humphry Davy’s Monument
- 1873—West Cornwall Dispensary and Infirmary
established at St. Clare. Re-built 1906.
- 1873—Excursion Brakes first ran to Land’s
Balleswidden Mine, St. Just, ceased working.
Nov. 19. I.O. Rechabites instituted.
- 1875—Art Exhibition at Penzance.
Granite Jetty removed from end of Albert Pier.
- 1876—Visit of British Archaiological
- 1877—May. Opening of St. Ives Railway.
Midsummer Eve. Last time of Fireworks Carnival in the Green
- 1878—The Castle at St. Michael’s Mount
renovated and enlarged.
January. Ding Dong Mine ceased working after having worked
continuously for 100 years.
July 18. “Cornishman” Newspaper first
- 1879—Visit of Royal Institution of Cornwall on August
Present Railway Station opened.
Feb. 11 to 15. Davy Celebrations in St. John’s
High Street Chapel built. Enlarged 1893.
Jordan Baptist Chapel disused as a place of worship and
converted into the Central Hall.
- 1880—School of Art erected.
Arcade, Market Jew Street, built.
Oct. 7. Road between Penzance and Newlyn washed away by
Dec. Carillon placed in St. Mary’s Tower.
- 1881—St. John’s Church erected.
Morrab Road commenced.
Aug. 1. Choral Society’s Fete and Bazaar at
- 1882—St. John’s constituted an Ecclesiastical
Bolitho’s Tanyard at Chyandour discontinued.
August. First East End Regatta.
Sept. 25. Scientific and Industrial Exhibition at St.
- 1883—Marazion Corporation disolved under
“Municipal Corporations Act, 1883.”
New Lighthouse erected on the Longships.
Post Office built. Enlarged 1893.
Norton’s Baths on Western Promenade removed.
Salvation Army Barracks established.
- 1884—Aug. West Penwith Fisheries Exhibition held at
the Public Buildings.
Newlyn Pier South Arm built. Extended 1913–1914.
Nov. 11. Floating Dock opened.
- 1885—June. Exhibition of Roal Cornwall Agricultural
Association at Treneere.
December 5. Contested Election between Sir John St. Aubyn and
Charles Campbell Ross (St. Aubyn elected).
- 1886—July 15. Contested Election between Sir John St.
Aubyn and Samuel Barrow. (St. Aubyn elected).
Newlyn Pier North Arm erected. Extended in 1892.
New Coastguard Station built.
July 28. Hawke murders and suicide. Victims: Mr. Charles Uren,
Mrs. Uren and Mrs. Gerrard.
- 1887—Public baths opened.
Rechabite Hall, Taroveor Road, built.
Independent Brass Band formed.
Young Men’s Christian Association instituted.
July. Mr. T.B. Bolitho elected M.P. (unoposed) for this
division. Resigned Sept., 1900.
“Golden Lion” Inn, Market Place, converted into an
Helston Railway opened for traffic.
- 1888—July. Morrab House and Grounds bought by
Corporation for £3,120.
Camera Club, Park Corner, instituted.
- 1889—United Methodist Free Church, Parade Street,
July 1. Bolitho’s Bank converted into a Limited
Sept. 27. Morrab Gardens opened.
First Chrysanthemum Show.
- 1890—Mining and Science Schools established.
Artillery Drill-hall erected.
- 1891—Mar. 9. The Great Blizzard. No train ran from
Redruth to Camborne for four days.
- 1892—May. Conversion of Broad Gauge on G. W. R. into
Narrow [Standard] Gauge.
Royal Naval Reserve Sheds built at Chyandour.
- 1893—Jan. 10. Wheal Owles, St. Just, inundated. 20
Roman Catholic School built.
July 7. “Princess May” Recreation Grounds
“Edward Bolitho” Convalescent Home, Laregan,
erected and endowed by Mr. T. Bedford Bolitho, of
Oct. 13. Free Library opened.
Penzance constituted a Meteorological Station.
- 1894—Penzance divided into 3 Civil Parishes under
Local Government Act, 1894, viz.: Penzance Civil,
Penzance-in-Madron, and Madron-in-Penzance.
July & 1896 July. The Prince of Wales’ Yacht,
“Britannia,” raced in Mount’s Bay Regatta and
won the first. It beat the American cutter,
“Vigilant”, by 7 minutes 4 seconds.
Nov. 11. Great Flood in West Cornwall. 2.33 inches of rain fell
at Penzance in 24 hours 52,778 gallons per acre.
- 1895—Steam Fire Engine presented to the Borough by
Mr. R. F. Bolitho, of Ponsandane.
County Police Station erected at Chyandour.
Young Women’s Christian Association founded.
St. John’s School erected.
Aug. Botallack Mine stopped working. Re-opened in
Passmore Edwards Art Gallery erected at Tolcarne in memory of
John Opie, the Artist.
- 1896—May. Newlyn Riots.
Consolidation of Borough Debt.
July. Trereiffe Smelting Works closed.
Penzance Club built in Alexandra Road.
Double Sea-wall built from Cornwall Terrace to western end of
Corporation £3 per cent. Stock created.
Nov. 16. Failure of Batten, Carne & Carne’s
Nov. 26. Branch of Capital & Counties Bank opened.
- 1897—Newlyn Green acquired.
June 22. Empress Avenue opened.
Aug. Old Sheep Market Wall demolished.
Western Promenade laid with slabs of concrete.
- 1898—St. Mary’s Schools, Redinnick,
June. Exhibition of Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association at
the fair field, Treneere.
- 1899—Green Street property purchased by the
Mount’s Bay Club, Queen Square, formed.
May 23. Arrival of the 2nd Batt. D.C.L.I. at Penzance.
May 24. Trooping of the Colours at Castle Horneck by H.M.S.
Leda, 1st C.R.G.A., 2nd Batt. D.C.L.I., and A Co. 1st
- 1900—Sept. 1. Mr. Edward Hain of St. Ives, elected
M.P. for this division (unopposed). Retired 1906. Knighted
- 1901—Central Club, New Street, instituted.
- 1902—April 9. Visit of H.M. King Edward VII. to
Penzance and St. Michael’s Mount.
Sept. 29. Chamber of Commerce established.
- 1903—Branwell’s Mills, Gulval, closed.
July 17. Alexandra Grounds opened. Land given by Mr. T. Robins
United Methodist Church erected in Alexandra Road.
Infectious Diseases Hospital built.
Alms House at Gulval Cross, erected and endowed by Mr. R.F.
- 1903–4—Berm and Landing Stage built opposite
- 1904—South African War Memorial erected in Morrab
- 1905—July 1. Bolitho’s Banking Co. taken over
by Barclay & Co.
Bandstand on Western Promenade presented by Mr. R.F.
- 1906—Jan 25. Contested election between Clifford John
Cory and Philip Edward Pilditch (Cory elected).
February. Riviera Palace Hotel (Polwithen) first licenced.
Enlarged 1908. Closed 1917.
Feb. 17. Branch of Lloyds’ Bank opened.
June 4. First Horse Parade.
July. Jews’ Synagogue (New Street) sold.
Aug. Two shelters erected on Western Promenade.
Dense Fogs infested the coast of West Cornwall continuously
from May to August. (Unprecedented).
Sept. 21. Great successful swim by Mr. Richard Hicks (of
Penzance) from Newlyn Pier to St. Michael’s Mount in 2
hours and 5 minutes.
Oct. Old Coinage Hall and Triangular Cellars taken down.
Nov 19 to 24. Arts and Crafts Exhibition at the Public
Dec 26 to 28. Heavy fall of snow.
- 1907—May 24. First celebration of Empire Day by 2,030
children at the Recreation Grounds.
July 3. “Queen’s Head” Inn, New Street,
closed under Licensing Acts.
Oct. 16. Alms Houses at Treneere opened by the Bishop of Truro.
Erected and endowed by Mr. R. F. Bolitho.
Nov. 29. Richmond Wesleyan Chapel, Tolver Place, opened.
- 1908—Jan. “Cornish Telegraph” and
“Tidings” purchased by the “Cornishman”
Newspaper co., and carried on as distinct newspapers, as
Feb. Sailors’ Institute and Bethel opened.
Jan. 13. “Clarence Hotel” Causewayhead, closed
under Licensing Acts.
June 18–20. Corpus Christi Fair held at Poltair.
Wharf Road built between Newlyn and Street-an-nowan.
- 1909—March 3, 4 and 16. Fall of Snow.
June 2. Visit of the Lord Mayor (Sir George Wyatt Truscott) and
Sheriffs of London, when the former unveiled the memorial to
Dr. Hugh Montgomerie at the West Cornwall Infirmary.
Nov. Battery Square purchased by the Corporation.
Penzance County School for Boys erected at Treneere.
- 1910—Jan. 27. Contested election between Sir Clifford
John Cory and Major Cecil Bingham Levita, M.V.O. (Cory
July 18–24. Large Fleet of nearly 200 British Warships
assembled in Mount’s Bay for a review which did not take
July 23. Mr. Grahame White made a circuit of the above Fleet in
Dec. 14. Contested Election between Sir Clifford John Cory and
R.E.L.Vaughan-Williams (Cory elected).
Dec. 14. “Ship” Inn, Quay Street, closed under
Dec. 15. Picturedrome opened at the Central Hall.
- 1911—Lifeboat House and Slip built at Penlee
April 18. Notable bequest of about 7,000 books by Rev.
Prebendary Hedgeland, late Vicar of St. Mary’s, Penzance,
added to the Penzance Library in Morrab Gardens.
July 1. About 60 Whales became stranded on the Eastern Beach,
July 8. Maximum Temperature 83.7 degrees [Fahrenheit]. Highest
recorded since Meteorological Station was intituted.
Bowling Club started.
The “Ship” Institute for Seamen, built by Miss Nora
Bolitho, of Laregan, at Street-an-Nowan, Newlyn.
- 1912—Feb. New road to Longrock from Ponsandane siding
opened for traffic.
May. Electric Light introduced into the town.
June 2 & 3. Exhibition of Royal Cornwall Agricultural
Association at Nancealverne.
June 24. Chyandour Smelting works closed after being in
operation nearly 200 years.
Aug. 13, &c. Road at Longrock flooded by water from the
Marsh for three weeks.
Aug. A large number of Sharks visited the Bay.
Oct. 4. Visit of H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany to Penzance and
St. Michael’s Mount.
Nov. 9. The Serpantine Works (since demolished and renamed
Bedford Bolitho Gardens) at Wherrytown presented to the Town by
Mr. T.B. Bolitho.
Nov. 29. Cinema opened as Picture Theatre, Causewayhead.
Dec. 18. “King Edward VII,” Beerhouse, Parade
Street, closed under Licensing Acts.
- 1913—Feb. Granite Pulpit erected in Paul Parish
Church in memory of Rev. R.W. Aitken, the late Vicar.
April 5. Fire and Nos. 19, 20 and 21 Market-Jew Terrace.
New Offices etc., erected for the Western Union Cable Co., at
Aug. 8. Two Bells, completing a peel of eight, and Electric
Clock, placed in Gulval Church Tower, in memory of Rev. W. W.
Wingfield, late Vicar of the Parish.
Sept. 23. Penzance County School for Girls opened at
Oct. 25. New Lifeboat House at Penlee opened.
- 1914—March 14. Botallack Mine closed.
April 17. Big Fire in New Street. Skating Rink and Steam
Laundry burnt out.
New light installed in the Pier Lighthouse, 1,000 candle power.
Fog horn also installed.
July 28. European War—Special Service Section of the
Territorial Force (50 men) on duty at Porthcurno and
Aug. 2. All Naval Reserves and Pensioners re-called for
mobilization. Great consternation in Penzance and
Aug. 5. Army Special Reserve and Territorial Force
Aug. 10. First Prisoners of War Camp at Chyandour
Aug. 16. 70 German prisoners of war brought to Penzance and
lodged at Chyandour.
Sept. 7. 100 Army Recruits arrived from Bodmin.
Sept. 7. War Recruiting Meeting in St. John’s Hall.
Sept. Penlee Gardens (renamed Richard Bolitho Gardens)
- 1915—Jan. 22. Mount’s Bay Volunteer Training
Jan. 26. 600 Officers and men 8th (Service) Batt. Northants
Regiment arrived for training, and billeted in town. Departed
Jan. 29. Penzance Wesleyan Day Schools closed.
Jan. 30. 300 Officers and men of 14th (Service) Batt. West
Yorks Regiment arrived for training, and were billeted.
Departed May 31st.
Feb. 8. Lescudjack Council Schools (cost between £9,000
and £10,000) opened. First Council Schools in
April 29. Newlyn Pier extension (100 feet), including tidal
observatory, of which there are only two in the Kingdom,
completed and new Lighthouse used for the first time.
Oct. 1. Opening of the Market Hall (formerly the
Nov. 12. Terific gale caused much damage to property and
uprooted large trees.
During the year large numbers of crews from merchant ships
torpedoed by German Submarines were landed, including 95 on one
day and 135 on another.
- 1916—May 24. Formal opening of Bedford Bolitho
Gardens (formerly old Serpentine Works) given by the late Mr.
T.B. Bolitho; and of the Richard Bolitho Gardens (formerly
Newlyn Green), cost of laying out defrayed by Mr. R.F. Bolitho,
and forming the Tercentenary Memorial.
Oct. West Penwith and District Canine Society started.
Oct. Ancient Bronze cannon believed to be from the Armada,
found at Low Lee, presented to the town, and placed in front of
the Free Library.
Nov. Continuous heavy S.E. gales, doing considerable damage
along the sea front.
Nov. 17. Town Clock stopped striking at night until remainder
of the war.
- 1917—Jan. 16 to Feb. 12. The most severe spell of
frosty weather experienced since 1895. Frost recorded on 13
days during this period. Minimum temperature 25.2 degrees
[Fahrenheit] on Feb. 6th.
March to June. Shortage of Potatoes. Majority of households
having none for weeks.
June 16. Lifeboat sold and Lifeboat house closed.
- 1918—Nov 11. Armistice Day. Glorious termination of
the Great War. Enemy signed the Armistice on the 11th hour of
the 11th day of the 11th month.
Dec. 14. Contested Parliamentary Election. Sir Clifford Cory,
Bart. (C. Liberal) A.E. Dunn (Lab.) & Capt. Mitchell, R.N.
(Ind. Unionist). (Cory elected).
- 1919—Jan. 3. U 101. surrendered German submarine,
visited Penzance and open for public inspection.
March 15. Penzance Naval base closed after nearly four years.
From February, 1915, to close, 10,585 vessels, carrying 17
million tons of cargo, escorted in convoy from Mount’s
Bay to France. 35 vessels lost. 582 lives saved by escorting
vessels. Patroling vessels saved nearly 4,000 lives. Penzance
patrol salved 28 vessels. About 70 vessels were employed at the
base and the personel was 1,200 officers and men. Men of base
raised nearly £500 for charities.
March 29. V.A.D. Hospital closed. 1,082 patients.
March 31. War Hospitals Supply Depot closed. Opened Aug., 1915.
Sent away nearly 153,000 articles.
May. 120,000 eggs sent away for National Egg Collection since
June 22. Centenary celebrated of Penzance (Morrab Gardens)
June 27. Motor Ambulance presentation at Trengwainton to
Penzance Ambulance Division.
July 19. peace celebrations. Procession, civic and public
bodies, &c. Children entertained. Dancing on
Mrs. W.E.T. Bolitho gave Cricket Field as a sports ground for
the town in memory of her husband, Lt.-Col. Bolitho D.S.O., who
died on service.
Sept. 27. Train service suspended. Railwaymen struck at
midnight, Sept. 26. Visitors stranded. Strike ended Oct. 5.
Local train service renewed Oct. 6th.
Sept. 30. Tol Pedn Motor Char-a-banc left Penzance with
passengers and baggage for London.
Oct. 20. Levant Disaster. Man Engine broke. 31 men killed, 11
injured. Worst calamity to Cornish mining.
Present G.W.R. Stone Embankment at Chyandour commenced;
- 1920—Feb. 2. Butter 5/– [5 shillings] lb.
Feb. 7. Demonstration by a thousand St. Just and Pendeen miners
and clay workers, who marched to Penzance as a protest against
the price of butter. Overturn cans of milk into the
June 26. First Folk Dance Festival in Cornwall held at
July 20. Mrs. T.R. Bolitho made a magistrate. First lady
magistrate for Penzance.
Aug. 27. H.M.S. Hood, the largest battleship in the world,
visited Mount’s Bay.
- 1921—June 1st to July 14th. Six weeks drought,
excepting light showers on June 25th.
June 14. Y.M.C.A transferred from Causewayhead to Market Jew
Oct. 20. Levant Mine Cost Book Company wound up. Last of the
Cornish Cost Book Companies.
- 1922—May 14. penzance War Memorial, at the Old
Nov. 15. Contested Election between Mr. J.A. Hawke, K.C., and
Sir Clifford Cory. (Hawke elected).
- 1923—March. Public Baths taken over by Private
Company and Cafe Marina constructed.
Aug. 4. Battery Road opened.
Aug. 25. New Motor Lifeboat “Two Brothers”
dedicated off Promenade and posted at Penlee Station.
Nov. 6. St. Mary’s Inn closed.
Dec. 6. Contested Parliamentary Election. Sir Clifford Cory,
Bart. (Liberal), J.A. Hawke, K.C. (Unionist), A.E. Dunn
(Labour). (Cory elected).
- 1924—April. Council decided to light Public Clocks in
Market House by Electricity.
May. Old Guns, formerly on Promenade removed to T.B. Bolitho
Market House corner lighted by Electricity for first
June. Alexandra Bowling Green and Tennis Courts acquired.
Nov. 5. Contested Parliamentary Election. Mr. J.A. Hawke K.C.
(Unionist), and Sir Clifford Cory, bart. (Liberal). (Hawke
- 1925—July. Copies of Translation of the Borough
Charter obtained by the Town Council.
August. Fund opened for provision of New Ambulance for St.
John’s Ambulance Brigade. Ambulance presented to Brigade
Lloyds Bank built in Market House on site of Corn
- 1926—May 3. General Strike proclaimed. Train and
other Services curtailed.
Nov. Winter Garden opened on the Promenade.
- 1927—April. Children’s Ward at West Cornwall
May. Ratepayers’ Association formed.
Dec. Motor Fire Engine given to the Borough by Mr. R.F.
Dec. Market Inn, Union Inn, Castle Hotel and Golden Lion Hotel
closed under Licensing Acts.
- 1928—Carcase Market removed to Princes Street.
March 8. Parliamentary By-Election. Mrs. Runciman (Liberal),
Sir A. Caird (Conservative), F.J. Hopkins (Labour) (Mrs.
July. New Primitive Methodist Church at Newlyn opened.
Sept. 21. Cornish Gorsedd revived. Celebrations at Boscawen-un
after a lapse of 1,000 years.
Nov. 7. Fatal Fire at New Street. 2 men burnt.
- 1929—March 29. Closing of Queen Stret National
May 30. Contested Parliamentary Election. Rt. Hon. W. Runciman
(Liberal), Sir A. Caird (Conservative), A. Forster (Labour).
June 8. Centenary of Sir H. Davy.
June 12 & 13. Royal Cornwall Agricultural Show at
June 24. Midsummer Beacon Bonfires instituted.
New Church at Carbis Bay built.
Swimming Matches held in the harbour.
West Cornwall College purchased York House.
Driest Summer recorded for 120 years.
“St. Levan” Freemasons’ Lodge
Car Park opened.
Introduction of the “Talkies” in Penzance.
Lady Councillors first elected to Town Council.
November and December. Exceptionally Heavy Gales, uprooting
many trees and doing much damage.
December 6th. Wreck of S.S. Frances Duncan off Land’s
December 7th. Wreck of S.S. Ornais II at Perranuthnoe.
- 1930—May. Parc Wartha Housing Estate commenced
May. Nurses’ Hostel of the West Cornwall Hospital
July 12th. Visit of Princess Helena Victoria, in connection
with the Y.M.C.A.
July 15th to 19th, First visit of the Royal Cornwall
Polytechnic Society’s Exhibition to Penzance.
July 18th to 21st. Visit of H.M.S. Renown and H.M.S.
August 2nd to 10th. Visit of the Band of the 2nd Battalion
August 25th. St. Mary’s Bells re-cast and re-dedicated.
Rev. Canon F.R. Carr, Vicar.
Oct. Levant and Geevor Tin Mines suspend operations.
Widening of the Penzance to Hayle Main Road.
Double line constructed between St. Erth and Marazion.
Ten Creek Avenue and Trendeal gardens built.
Dec. Mayor’s Dinner for the Corporation Workmen. First
for many years.
A number of tree-trunks forming a portion of the submerged
forest in Mount’s Bay were exposed on the lug sand at
Larigan Beach, Penzance, after a violent storm.
- 1931—Population 11,342.
Jan. 20. Appointment of Mr. J. H. D. Nicholas, Town
March. Formal opening of the Parc Wartha Estate.
Mar. 12. Town Clerk’s Office removed to the Municipal
April 10. Fire at Mr. J. H. Slade’s Shipbreaking Yards,
May 22. Empire Day Celebrations for the Children, revived by
June 30. Formation of the St. Michael’s Society
(Penzance), Ltd., with the object of removal of the
July. New Tennis Courts at Alexandra Grounds and Bolitho
Aug. 8. Prisoners tried at Penzance Borough Quarter Sessions. 3
cases from outside the Borough, under the Criminal Justice Act
of 1925. First occasion.
Aug. 12. to Oct. National Crisis—Departure from the Gold
Aug. 15. Launching of the Penlee Lifeboat, “W. &
Aug. 22. Penzance Carnival and Dance revived.
Aug. 30. Dedication of St. Just War Memorial.
Sept. 1. Mr. E. W. J. Nicholson appointed Town Clerk, vice Mr.
J. H. D. Nicholas, who was appointed Assistant, Sept.
Sept. Flood Lighting of the Municipal Buildings, in connection
with the Faraday Centenery.
Review of County Districts by the County Council commenced,
under the Local Government Act, 1929.
Commencement of the Cattle Market Extension Scheme, and the New
Sept. 19. Wreck of S.S. Laminge at Gurnard’s Head.
Sept. 21 to Oct. 1. Visit of S.S. Capri, and filming of a
portion of “The Verdict of the Sea,” at the
Oct. 16. Parliamentary Election, Rt. Hon. Walter Runciman
returned unopposed. Later appointed President of the Board of
Trade, and Member of the Cabinet.
Nov. 3. Wreck of S.V. St. Anne at Porthleven.
- 1932—Mar. 4. Wreck of Belgian Trawler, Omer Denise,
Mar. 4. Wreck of S.S Ocklinge, at Coverack.
Ap. 8. Formation of Regional Planning Committee for West
Cornwall, under the Provisions of the Town Planning Acts.
Ap. 14. Official Opening of Cattle Market extension.
Ap. 19. The Honorary Freedom of the Borough was conferred upon
Alderman W. J. Bazeley, J.P., Alderman B. C. Matthews, Alderman
C. Poole, Howell Mabbott, Esq., J.P., and J. H. Tonkin, Esq.,
May 6. Official Opening of the Fun Fair at the Bedford Bolitho
July 25. Provincial Lodge of Free Masons held at Penzance
presided over by Provincial Grand Master Brig.-Gen. Lord St.
Levan, C.B., C.V.O.
Aug. 9. Raid on St. Hilary Church, and removal of
Aug. 14. Introduction of Sunday Tennis.
Aug. 19. First visit of Sir. Alan Cobham. National Aviation
Aug. 19–27. Penzance Carnival week, including visit of
Park and Dare Silver Band.
Sept. 13. Wreck of S.S. Glamorgan Coast at Cape Cornwall.
Sept. 25. Demonstration in Morrab Gardens on the occasion of
the Union of the Three Methodist Churches.
Oct. 12. New Sewerage Scheme completed.
Oct. 30. Wreck of Auxiliary Schooner, Sarah Evans, at
Nov. 4. Foundation Stone laid at St. Michael Housing site by
Mrs. John Charles Williams (in the unavoidable absence of
Brig.-Gen. Lord St. Levan, C.B., C.V.O.) and blessed by Walter,
Bishop of Truro.
Nov. 16–19. Inquiry into proposed extension of the
Borough Boundaries, under the Provisions of the Local
Government Act, 1929.
Nov. 30. Extensive alterations at the West Cornwall Hospital
including New X-Ray Dept., New Sterilizing Room and New
- 1933—Jan. 11. Penalverne Estate purchased. Penalverne
Lodge also purchased by the Corporation through the generosity
of Councillor A. E. Ellis.
Mar. 28. Land adjoining Treassowe Road conveyed by Captain J.
Lionel Rogers to the Council on very generous terms, for use as
a Public Garden.
Mar. 31. Chain of Office presented to the Corporation for the
use of the Mayoress, by Councillor A. E. Ellis.
Mar. 31. Freedom of the Borough presented to Richard Acutt
May. Penalverne Housing Scheme. Tender of Mr. J. H. Lobb in the
sum of £26,404 accepted for the erection of 84 houses and
May 31. Official opening of St. Anthony Gardens. The Granite
Fountain formerly outside St. John’s Hall placed in these
June 19. Work commenced at Princess May Recreation Ground on a
new and improved Playground for children.
June 25 to 27. Visit of Bertram Mills’ Circus.
June 25. Mayor, Mayoress and Town Clerk attended Exeter
Cathedral Octo-Centenary Celebration with the representatives
of twenty other West Country Boroughs.
June 27. Ponsandane Charity Scheme approved. First distribution
July 1. Abolition of the Penzance Burial Board. Duties and
powers transferred to the Town Council.
July 7. Official opening of eight new houses, erected by St.
Michael’s Housing Society, by the Lord Lieutenant of the
County,J. C. Williams, Esq.
July 14 and 15. Royal Mount’s Bay Regatta.
July to Oct. Longest Drought on record experienced. Penzance
enjoyed a continuous supply of water, which was not turned off
during the period.
Aug. 21. to 26. Penzance Carnival Week. Two Queens
Sept. 13. Innovation made in the ceremonial of the Council. The
Mayor entered the Council Chamber preceeded by a Sergeant at
Mace bearing the Borough Maces.
Oct. 18. Public Inquiry re proposed Bathing Pool at the Battery
Removal of the Foundry of Messrs. N. Holman & Sons. to more
commodious premises at the Dry Dock.
Oct. 30. Five Years Housing Programme approved by the Town
Council for submission to the Ministry of Health.
Nov. 3 and 4. Revival of the Chrysanthemum Show.
Nov. 9. Ancient Office of “Le Yeoman,”
Dec. 3. Corporation visits Madron Church.
Dec. 6. Councillor J. W. Meek sets up fund for the poor.
- 1934—Jan. 1. Children’s Playground in the
Princess May Recreation Grounds opened.
Jan. 31. Mayor’s Fund for distressed fishermen
Feb. 24. Council purchased Mennaye Estate.
Mar. 23. Municipal Election for the Extended Borough.
Apr. 3. Alderman J. W. Meek elected first Mayor of the Extended
May 6. Wreck of Fishing Boat “Eureka” on Larrigan
June 27. Royal Mount’s Bay Regatta.
July 20. Floodlighting of Putting Greens.
July 20. Appointment of R. C. E. Austin, Esq., LL.M., as Town
July 25–Aug. 31—Cornish Shakespearean
Aug. 20. Visit of the Band of H.M. Grenadier Guards.
Sept. Grant from the College of Heralds of Coat of Arms for the
Nov. 5. Beating of Bounds of the Extended Borough.
Nov. 9. Alderman C. Tregenza, J.P., C.A., elected Mayor.
Nov. 18. Visit of Corporation to St. Clement’s Methodist
Nov. 28. First Broadcast from Penzance. Albert Sammons and
Penzance Orchastral Society, at St. John’s Hall.
Dec. 8 and 9. Severe gale. New Bathing Pool exterior wall
undermined. Fire Engine used to pump water out of Hotels on the
Dec. 13. Inauguration of Air Service between London and
Penzance by Provincial Airways, Ltd.
Dec. 14. Police seize fifty cars in district as result of a
round-up of a gang of Car Thieves who were operating from
- 1935—Mar. 3. The Mayor, Alderman C. Tregenza, visited
H.R.H. The Prince of Wales at St. James’ Palace, with
regard to the Jubilee Trust Fund.
Mar. 27. Building commenced at Public Buildings Car Park, of
the New Headquarters, St. John Ambulance Brigade.
Mar. 28. Wreck of French Trawler “Le Vieux Tigre”
at the Lizard.
Apr. 9. Council decided to erect “Belisha Beacons”
in Penzance at a cost of £300 of which £130 would be
borne by the rates.
Apr. 25. Start of Marathon Run, Penzance to London, with
Jubilee message to H.M. The King. Mayor hands baton to
May 6. Rejoicings on occasion of Silver Jubilee of H.M. The
King George V. Glorious Weather. Processions, Dances,
Fireworks, Bonfires, Ship Burnt at Sea, St. Michael’s
Mount and the Municipal Buildings Floodlit.
May 31. Penzance Jubilee Bathing Pool, constructed at a cost of
£15,000, opened by Alderman J. W. Meek, J.P.
June 14. Serious fire at Cafe Marina.
June 21. Wreck of 15,000 ton Oil Tanker “D. L.
Harper” at the Lizard.
June 30. Visit of Mayor and Corporation to the Trinity
Methodist Church, Newlyn.
July 16. Councillor T. H. Rodda presented a Piano for the use
of the Boy’s Section of Lescudjack Council School.
Sep. 26. The “Clan Malcolm” wrecked at the Lizard,
with a crew of fifty.
Oct. 6. The New Ambulance (cost £650) dedicated at
Penzance by the Bishop of Truro, Dr. J. W. Hunkin.
Oct. 9. Speed Limit; Borough of Penzance (Built-up areas)
Order, 1935, sanctioned by Minister of Transport.
Nov. 9. Alderman Robert Thomas, J.P., C.C. unanimously elected
Nov. 14. The Parliamentary Election. Rt. Hon. Walter Runciman
(National Liberal), elected M.P. for this division unopposed.
Later appointed President of the Board of Trade and Member of
Nov. 17. Church Parade at St. John’s Church to celebrate
the Centenary of Municipal Government.
From Nov. 24. Centenary Celebrations of the Church of St. Mary
the Virgin, Penzance. Church Floodlit.
Mayor’s Fund for the poor revived.
Dec. 1. Church Parade to Madron, on occasion of Madron
- 1940–42—867 bombs dropped in the Penzance
area, killing 16 persons and injuring 115 others; 48 houses
completely destroyed, 157 seriously damaged, and 3,752 damaged.
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