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1841 Census of Penwith
(On This Day: 6 June 1841)

The first modern census of the UK was taken on Sunday 6 June 1841. Four national census enumerations had been taken previously in 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1831 but these had been purely numeric, except where names were collected locally as in St Hilary in 1801..............

All aboard for all points up country
(On This Day: 21 October 1882)

It’s Saturday evening, and the departure platform at Penzance is packed with 60 people.

Arise Sir Humphry Davy
(On This Day: 8 April 1812)

On 8th April 1812 Humphry Davy was knighted by The Prince Regent .......

Bicycle crime in Ludgvan
(On This Day: 4 June 1885)

Cycling can be a dangerous business when Ludgvan's on your route....

Britain Declares War on Germany
(On This Day: 4 August 1914)

On 4th Auhust 1914, as clocks around the country struck 11pm, Britain entered into a state of war with Germany. At 11.02pm First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, send a telegram to the Fleet, “Commence hostilities against Germany”.

Census in Penwith 1861
(On This Day: 7 April 1861)

A census has been taken every 10 years from 1801 until 2011, covering England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.....

Davies Giddy FRS: St Erth boy makes good
(On This Day: 17 November 1791)

Between 1790 and 1830 a number of west Cornishmen were elected Fellows of the Royal Society including Humphry Davy, Joseph Carne, John Hawkins and on 17th November 1791, Davies Giddy, who would go on to become the Society's President.

Davies Gilbert aka Davies Giddy
(On This Day: 6 March 1767)

Davies Giddy is probably more well known as Davies Gilbert but if you try to find a birth date for young Mr Gilbert by searching parish registers you'll run into a problem. In short, he is not there! So, just who is this famous man of west Cornwall and why the enigma concerning his birth?

Death of Christopher Hawkins of Trewinnard
(On This Day: 28 April 1767)

 Christopher Hawkins of Trewinnard, St Erth, died on 28 April 1767. He'd been born in Cornwall in about 1694...........

Death of Sir Christopher Hawkins
(On This Day: 6 April 1829)

Sir Christopher Hawkins died aged 70 on 6 April 1829. He was born in Probus in 1758, second son of Thomas Hawkins of Trewithen and grandson of Christopher Hawkins of Trewinnard........

Goldsmith Dislodges Rocking Stone of Treen
(On This Day: 18 April 1824)

In the parish of S. Levan, there is a promontory called Castle Treryn. This cape consists of three distinct groups of rocks. On the western side of the middle group near the top, lies a very large stone, so evenly, poised that any hand may move it to and fro; but ......... it is morally impossible that any lever, or indeed force, however applied in a mechanical way, can remove it from its present situation.”


No Stone Unturned: Royal Geological Society of Cornwall AGM
(On This Day: 16 December 1950)

Sixty seven years ago the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall was holding its annual general meeting in Penzance, just as it does today and as it has done each year since 1814.

Penzance to Aberdeen Press Special
(On This Day: 3 October 1921)

This is Penzance. This is Penzance. The train now standing at platform 1 is the 10.00 am train for Paddington. Passengers for Aberdeen please board the rear two carriages. This train calls at St Erth, Hayle, Camborne..........arriving in Aberdeen at 8.35 tomorrow morning. 

Skimbleshanks at St Erth?
(On This Day: 11 September 1933)

“Bubbles" is missing! Of unimpeachable character, utterly blameless, attentive to his duties. The perfect employee. Kidnapping suspected.  

St Ives Branchline Opens
(On This Day: 1 June 1877)

The St Erth to St Ives branchline was the last new broad gauge line to be built in Britain and celebrates its 140th anniversary this year (2017).

The 1871 Census - Penwith Peaks
(On This Day: 2 April 1871)

The 1871 census took place on 2 April 1871 and was similar in structure to the previous one in 1861

This was the last census of the time of prosperity and expansion in West Cornwall......


The End of an Era: Treloweth Smelter Closes
(On This Day: 22 March 1883)

On the 6 April 1883 the Royal Cornwall Gazette carried an advertisement dated 22 March 1883. The advertisement was for The Lamb and Flag Smelting Works, otherwise known as Treloweth.

Tin Smuggling Rife in Penzance
(On This Day: 25 July 1739)

The Crown employed supervisors to check blowing houses and smelters to ensure that coinage tax was paid, but it wasn't always straightforward as in this incident on New Street Stairs... 

Election Fever Pt. 2: St Ives, New Constituencies, New Voters ...... and New Problems in 1885
(Penwith Papers: 1 July 2017)

In the previous Penwith Paper, we left Charles Ross, newly elected to the Parliamentary Borough of St Ives, arriving at Penzance station in triumph and looking forward to the day when he could contest the Western Division, He was to be disappointed...............

Managing Without Maps part one: Dykes, disputes, and the Drama of being on the right side
(Penwith Papers: 8 August 2019)

Despite occasional annoyances, most of us love our GPS devices.  Before that, we loved our maps. But before reliable maps were available – how did people create, mark and remember boundaries: between parishes, hundreds, one family’s land and another’s?

The Road to Nowhere?
(Penwith Papers: 12 September 2019)

In the previous Penwith Paper, we were introduced to the story of a dispute in 1150 AD concerning the Manor of Gurlyn, Tredea and Trevessa.

But there is much more to be said on this subject, starting about the time of Bishop Bartholomew of Exeter (1159-1184). Now, read on…

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Penwith Local History Group

c/o Morrab Library
Morrab Gardens
Penzance, Cornwall
TR18 4DA

Penwith Local History Group, Penzance, Cornwall
Penwith Local History Group
Penzance, Cornwall

The Morrab Library showing the new extension
The Morrab Library showing the new extension.
Photo Glyn Richards

<br>Causeway to St Michael's Mount on the ebb tide., Penwith Local History Group
This month's featured photograph:

Causeway to St Michael's Mount on the ebb tide.

Photograph by Ted Mole

Click on the photo above to view more photos
<br>Coastline near Zennor., Penwith Local History Group<br>Chysauster looking east to Mulfra Hill., Penwith Local History Group<br>St Michael's Mount from the Coast Path by Penzance station., Penwith Local History Group<br>Marazion from St Michael's Mount., Penwith Local History Group<br>Greenburrow Engine House, Ding Dong Mine., Penwith Local History Group<br>Marazion from St Michael's Mount, Trencrom on skyline., Penwith Local History Group<br>Three of the Nine Maidens, Zennor Hill in background., Penwith Local History Group<br>Levant Mine from the south showing the leat in the foreground, left to right the calciner, stamps and compressor stacks and the whim and pumping engine houses in the centre with the Skip Shaft headframe., Penwith Local History Group<br>Higher Bal, Levant Mine. Engine house for dual purpose pumping and winding engine. Stonecrop in foreground., Penwith Local History Group<br>Men-an-Tol., Penwith Local History Group<br>The Nine Maidens Stone Circle., Penwith Local History Group