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Part of the Acorn Archive

Penzance, Cornwall

Architecture and Heritage

Market Place and The Greenmarket

Before 1838

Whilst working on more recent alterations to the Lloyds Bank building,

I discovered that Frederick G Drewitt had copies of various drawings of Penzance,

prior to 1838 and of the completed building of 1838,

there are also photographs of the building and an illustration of the original scheme. 

These and the drawings of the alterations made in 1925,

that Geoffrey B Drewitt had designated to be sent to the paper recycling plant,

were rescued (amongst others, with his permission);

these drawings will be lodged with Cornwall Record Office at Truro.

There is also a drawing of the Town’s proposals for Market Place, in 1948,

which is quite revealing. All of these will be placed on this website.


The story of Market House (Lloyds Bank building), The Fountain,

Humphry Davy’s monument and that of the Market Cross are intertwined.

There are links with the Town’s water supply, in that the

Town Shoots (water chutes) delivered water at the bottom end of

Causewayhead (one time Conseway Head, or North Street)

and this was at some time run on through Chapel Street,

as well as past the Market House to deliver water roughly where the new

Water Feature has been placed; the water then continued down through Market Jew Street,

to discharge via Neddy Betty’s Lane (Albert Street now) to the sea.


From T Allom - 1831; an original Fisher, Son & Co print

A detail from the above

1833, showing the water shoots below Thomas’ Conveyancers offices, and the steps.

As can bee seen, this was a collection of separate buildings.

Market House – West Façade - 1825

Note the old chimney, which is still there, on Nr 32 Market Place.

Polkinghorne’s 1829

At the bottom of Causewayhead was the Town Shoot, fed from the

Town Reservoir of 1757. The overspill led across the road and into a gulley.

The Market Cross can be seen here in its third position,

having been moved from its known first position roughly where the Police Station is at present,

and then to the centre of what was the Bullock Market, now Greenmarket.

In that position, it was taken as the centre of the Town Boundaries as defined in 1614.

The Cross was later moved to the new Market House,

with one of the inscriptions removed to make the cross fit into its seating.

The inscription read (according to Reverend C V LeGrice) Hic procumbant corpora piorum.

Then, when the Market House was altered, the Cross was moved to Morrab Gardens

and later again to Penlee House.

It is now at its proper height, at the top of steps, to the observer below.


Raymond Forward