Truro – the UK’s most southerly city

Truro – the UK’s most southerly city

In February I had the occasion to visit Truro. The name Truro is believed to have come from Tri-veru, meaning three rivers, after the Kenwyn, the Allen and the Tinney. Together these form the Truro River which flows into the Carrick Roads and the River Fal. The rivers mostly run under the streets though so there aren’t many river walks in the compact city. Truro is only 20 miles from me, which takes an hour and a half on the bus and about 25 mins in the car, and not a place I have visited often since moving down here. Although Cornwall’s only city I am afraid it doesn’t really appeal to me. It doesn’t have any distinct areas that other cities have and the architecture is all over the place, although predominantly Georgian with some Regency and Victorian buildings. It apparently has ‘the best examples of Georgian architecture west of Bath’. Really?

There are a lot of ‘high street’ shops and many interesting independent shops and there is an indoor market on Lemon Quay, a name that invokes a place full of scent and beauty. It’s not. Some days there is an outdoor market too, but I never seem to get the day right. The Hall for Cornwall offers entertainment and there is the Royal Cornwall Museum so plenty to offer the visitor one would think.

Coinage Hall: The current building was built as the Cornish Bank in 1848 on the site of the old Coinage Hall where twice yearly tin was brought here to be assayed and taxed.

However, I am not a shopper. I shop when it is necessary and therefore other than grocery shopping, not that often. I need something more than shops to draw me to a place. You would think that being on a river there would be lovely river walks. If there are I haven’t yet found them. And a walk to the Victoria gardens proved disappointing too and the gardens themselves rather too municipal for my liking.

Perhaps I am hard to please.  There is an unusual three-spired Gothic-style cathedral¹, though even my first visit to that left me underwhelmed. I did give it another chance this time and found it to be less uninspiring than I had first thought so it definitely deserves a post of its own.

Lemon Street: With its attractive Georgian architecture, Lemon Street was built to provide easy access into Truro for the Quiksilver mail coaches from Falmouth.

Meanwhile here are a couple of galleries of my impressions of Truro whilst wandering through the city, and if anyone knows it well and can suggest to me any nice walks or areas of particular interest, then please do so in the comment section. I’d love to be proved wrong.


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Eclectic Truro

¹ There are only three cathedrals in the United Kingdom with three spires. Lichfield Cathedral, dating from the 13th and early 14th centuries is the only medieval cathedral. Between the 14th and 16th centuries Lincoln Cathedral also had three spires, but the central spire collapsed in a storm and was not rebuilt thereafter. Both Truro Cathedral, Cornwall (late 19th–early 20th century) and St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh (late 19th century) were built in the Gothic Revival style and also have three spires.

If you enjoy a walk, long or short, then have a look at Jo’s site where you are welcome to join in.

Zig Zag

Does anyone know what causes this strange zig-zag pattern on the sea? Definitely not reefs and hardly any wind to mention. I have never seen this before. Very pretty though.

Edit: Thanks to the clever research of Canadian Sue Slaght this phenomenon could be Langmuir circulation. Thanks Sue!

Other phenomena that have been easy to see on these glassy seas are the parallel lines of Langmuir circulation. They resemble corresponding paths of dark and light lines on the ocean’s surface that linger up and down the coastline. They can be easily seen from a boat or the shoreline.

Five Minutes in my conservatory

Five Minutes in my conservatory

When we moved here last year the conservatory was a bit of a dumping ground. Eventually it got sorted and became our breakfast room (when it wasn’t too hot to sit in – I guess we should do early breakfasts as at 7 am it is probably fine). I also used it to browse through garden and seed catalogues and plan what I was going to do in the garden once the year was up.  Recently it became a dumping ground again whilst I decorated the bedroom and office/studio on the ground floor so once again I have had to clear it out. During the spring half-term my daughter helped me to move the bookcase into the dining-hall and also move a Victorian Housekeeper’s cupboard so we could paint the wall behind it. I still have that to finish as the tomatoes have gone bananas so I shall have to wait until they are finished before I can paint the rest of the walls. Today whilst watering them for the second time I realised that the room had somehow adopted a rather colonial feel. Wicker chairs and drawers, rattan dining chairs, an open cupboard and my collection of African bits and pieces have made it feel almost tropical. I think I shall have to buy some citrus plants, grow a grape-vine and maybe some ginger lilies – of course whatever I do put in there has to cope with the cold in winter as the conservatory is unheated.

So after dealing with our second flying ant invasion (not in the conservatory, that location seems to be the preference of woodlice) I decided to take a few photos to include in DJ’s 5 minute challenge. I hope you, and DJ, like them and that she doesn’t mind that I have stretched the rules a bit.

DesleyJane – a lovely arty scientist now living in Melbourne – is also a wonderful photographer and a huge macro fan. She has a new weekly challenge called “regularrandom for anyone to join in with which involves spending 5 minutes with the subject matter.

Choose a scene or an object and keep fixed on that object, and shoot for just five minutes.   You can move around the object or scene but try not to interfere with it. See what happens in that five minutes, what changes, how the light changes, what comes into the frame or leaves the frame, or what other parts of the object you can focus on or use to your advantage.

South African Zulu basket

If you would like to join in then please visit DJ’s site where you will find more information and ideas about this fun challenge

All photos were taken with my Olympus E-10 camera and the 40-150mm lens and using various art scenes.