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.

Architecture

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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.

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40 thoughts on “Truro – the UK’s most southerly city

  1. You are very hard to please! Or else you looked very hard. There are some attractive buildings, and I’d visit just to see that knowing cow with a posy behind its ears. The fern photo is particularly lovely, and the signs made me laugh, especially the barber shop one.

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    1. I did look hard! Difficult to get any decent shots of the more attractive buildings because the roads are quite busy with traffic and people, but thankfully the trees were still bare! I don’t know how they could get away with that sign – not a barber shop btw, scaffolding pole with tape around it to stop people walking into it.

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  2. So there you are, distinctly disenchanted, and then go on to present a really rather lovely gallery and some fascinating history snippets. Poor old Truro! I love the blue skies 3 spires shot. Will have to tootle back for a closer look at the others. Much thanks for the plug. 🙂 🙂 Commiserations for the fallen hero. Dimitrov for the title?

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    1. Well, I tried hard Jo so as not to disappoint you 😉 the cathedral was much nicer than I remembered from my first visit, so maybe the city grows on you. Murray’s match was a shambles, not half the player he was at the French Open. To be honest I’m not so interested in any of the others now that Stan is out too. I’d quite like one of the young Aussies to win – the lad who beat Edmund reminds me of a young Lleyton Hewitt.

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      1. Kanakopolis or something similar? He was good. No, not much life in it now. Where’s Rafa when you need him? 🙂 🙂 Enormous thunderstorms and heavy rains here all morning. Our poor roses! 😦

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  3. When we used to stay with a relative in Penryn we would regularly visit Truro. I remember it as a child, with heavy traffic, and a bustling atmosphere. Like you, I didn’t think it was a ‘nice’ city, as it felt unplanned, and cramped. I would have to go back to see what I think of it as an adult, but my instinct is to agree with your opinion.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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  4. I’ve only paid brief visits to Truro and with my ex, so I hardly saw a thing. I do remember the front of the cathedral though so I look forward to your post and photos. I hope you like Exeter when I eventually show you some of it!
    I’m not keen on shopping either, nothing fits me so there’s no point!

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  5. It looks attractive, but for me I think it would fall between two stools – not big enough as a city but too big to the sort of picturesque village / small town that I sometimes fantasise about moving to. Well, at least for the ten seconds before I remember I’m a city girl through and through. A city girl who hates shopping though – I’m with you there!

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    1. I think Ludlow spoiled me as to what a town should be like – small enough to have that village feeling, full of history and enough shops to satisfy my needs, plus a reasonable social scene. Not to mention the lovely listed buildings, a decent river walk and 5 minutes to walk into the countryside. Now remind me, why did I move?

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  6. We only went toTruro for an afternoon and that was to visit friends of Mr ET. They lived within a few blocks of the centre of town and we went for a walk with them in the late afternoon. It was nice because they explained places and showed us their favourite spots. I do agree with you, the river isn’t pretty at all. But we did enjoy wandering through the streets when the daytime crowd was gone. We thought we would like to return and explore more one day.

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  7. I LOVE it! Reminds me of Greyton and Riebeek Kasteel all in one. I wonder how we missed it on my last visit. Oh ….. wait ….. I remember now ….. it was minus 5 degrees the last time I was in Cornwall 🙂 I must do this in the summer next time :-0 :-0

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      1. Were were – drove from Teignmouth all the way down to St Ives but I think it was fractionally milder. Probably zero 🙂 Heathrow was minus one too when I flew back home to 28 degrees in Cape Town lol. At Stonehenge I got out for long enough to take 3 photos then left the Japanese and German tourists to it 🙂

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  8. Based on your photos, I’d say it was a lovely place to visit. I especially liked the door with the two massive animal heads.
    … but I do know what you’re getting at. I’ve been to places that I’m sure were quite charming, but left me completely unimpressed. Yes, Florence, I’m thinking about you when I say that. I’ve always thought that I should return to Florence some day and try to overwrite that initial impression.

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    1. The animal heads (lions?) were rather odd. They were on every doorway in that row of houses, but I cannot find anything about them. I think that’s what frustrates me about the city, there is very little written about it. Or I’m not finding the information!

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  9. oh dear!! Isn’t it strange how some cities just don’t inspire us at all. I haven’t been to Truro since I was a little girl and so my memories won’t be any good at all. . . in fact all I can remember is fudge!

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  10. Cities, whatever their size, aren’t my thing at all, but you’ve captured some wonderfully quirky things around this one. I love the pink and blue building in the first shot 🙂

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    1. I like to look for interesting architecture and quirky things in a town or city. Markets or old towns appeal to me, but Truro’s market is indoors and not especially appealing. The Lemon Street Market is nicer, but more of a shopping mall than a true market.

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  11. I’ve been to Truro, but really can’t comment on whether I thought it was lovely or not because my visit was really limited to Marks and Spencers (I have no idea why!) and a nice tea room for a cream tea. However, your photos make it look quite inviting!

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