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Truro

Truro is located in south Cornwall, within Carrick District Council local authority area. It lies approximately 14km north of Cornwall’s south coast at the head of the tidal Truro River, one arm of a complex of drowned valleys, rivers and creeks draining into the estuary of the River Fal and thence to the large natural harbour of Carrick Roads.

It is Cornwall’s only city, having become the seat of the new Anglican diocese of Truro in 1877; its cathedral, when completed in 1910, was the first to be built in Britain since the Reformation. The city is the modern administrative focus of Cornwall and de facto county town, the headquarters of Cornwall County Council and Carrick District Council and the location of the Royal Cornwall Hospital and county court. The ongoing development of the Peninsular Medical School at Treliske will strengthen Truro’s role as the sub-regional centre for healthcare and health education. Two important regional cultural facilities, the Hall for Cornwall and Royal Cornwall Museum, are also situated in the city.

Truro is a major employment centre with a strong emphasis on the public sector; the largest employers are the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Cornwall County Council, Carrick District Council and Truro College. It is important as a commercial, retail and leisure centre for much of west and mid Cornwall and as a sub-regional focus for secondary and further education. In addition to its regional and sub-regional roles, Truro is also a local market town serving a distinct rural hinterland. This role has been augmented by the arrival of financial and investment institutions and ‘high street multiples’, which impact significantly on the local economy.

The city is an important transport node, with a station serving the mainline railway through Cornwall and a branch to Falmouth; rail services connect Truro to several key towns in Cornwall – Penzance, Camborne, Redruth, St Austell and Liskeard – and the regional centres of Plymouth, Exeter and Bristol, as well as providing long distance links to London and the national rail network. Truro is served by long-distance coach services and is a focus for bus routes covering most urban centres and rural areas in mid and west Cornwall. The city has direct links to the A30 spinal trunk road through Cornwall and lies on locally important routes south to the Falmouth - Penryn area and east towards St Austell. The city has significant traffic congestion problems, exacerbated at times during the main holiday season by its additional role as a bad weather destination for visitors.  A ferry link, essentially for leisure, operates on the river between the city and Falmouth. Truro maintains a small working port downstream from the city at Lighterage Quay.

Truro has developed around the confluence of two minor rivers, the Kenwyn and the Allen, both of which rise on Cornwall’s central ‘spine’ to the north; a small stream descends the valley side from the east to join the Allen close to the point at which the rivers merge. These watercourses combine to form the Truro River which flows south as one of a number of tidal creeks making up the Fal estuary. The historic core of Truro is located at the lowest crossing points on the Kenwyn and Allen and at the highest tidal extent on the Truro River, also historically the highest navigable point for vessels of any size.

The river valleys form a moderately steep sided bowl surrounding the city on the north, east and west, opening to the drowned valley of the Truro River to the south. The bowl is itself divided by a ridge forming the interfluve between the Kenwyn and Allen and the historic area of the city extends over this ridge and across each of the rivers to the adjoining valley sides to east and west. The underlying solid geology is of slates and sandstones of the Falmouth and Portscatho Series, overlain by clays and with alluvial deposits along the lower parts of the river valleys.

Most of the area around Truro has been identified as Anciently Enclosed Land, a landscape of enclosed fields and dispersed farm settlements with its origins in the medieval period and earlier. There are some localised areas in which the Anciently Enclosed Land has been altered in the 18th and 19th centuries, predominantly by the removal or straightening of boundaries. An area of historic parkland (Pencalenick) lies to the east. Much larger areas of ornamental landscape lie to the south of the city on the Truro River around the major country houses at Tregothnan and Trelissick.

Downloads:
The downloads offered below represent the different elements of the CSUS Truro Report including the core text, seven illustrative figures and fourteen character area summaries. The majority of the downloads are large files (to maintain some quality of image resolution) and therefore may take time to download.
 

  Title Description

Format

Size

CSUS Truro Report REPORT text detailing the results of the historic character study for the town of Truro. Graeme Kirkham, Historic Environment Service..

Format type: PDF

5811kb

Figure 1 - Location & Topography Map Map showing the location of Truro and its immediate topography.

Format type: PDF

1619kb
Figure 2 - Ordnance Survey 2nd Edition 1:2500 Map (c.1907) Map showing the town of Truro in c.1907.

Format type: PDF

896kb
Figure 3 - Historic Development Map Map showing the historic development and expansion of Truro.

Format type: PDF

1842kb
Figure 4 - Historic Settlement Topography Map Map showing the historic topography of Truro with key areas of historic activity.

Format type: PDF

1482kb
Figures 5a, 5b, 5c - Surviving Historic Components Maps Three maps showing the surviving historic buildings of Truro. 5aFormat type: PDF 5bFormat type: PDF 5cFormat type: PDF 549/531/576kb
Figure 6 - Urban Archaeological Potential Map Map showing the areas and sites of archaeological potential in Truro.

Format type: PDF

1346kb

Figure 7 - Character Areas Map Map showing the seven character areas identified by the survey of Truro.

Format type: PDF

1570kb

Character Area 1- The Commercial Core Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of the commercial core. The historic and commercial heart of Truro, this area is dominated by distinctive, strongly urban streetscapes with a variety of impressive historic buildings, including most of Truro’s major landmark structures.

Format type: PDF

970 kb
Character Area 2a - Cathedral Area - Quay Street Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of  the Cathedral area - Quay Street. A busy secondary commercial area based on a cluster of narrow, strongly enclosed streets and distinctive, high quality buildings, overlooked by the towering mass of the Cathedral.

Format type: PDF

569kb

Character Area 2b - Kenwyn Street - Calenick Street Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Kenwyn Street - Calenick Street. Former medieval and post medieval suburbs and minor industrial areas set about historic routeways. Kenwyn Street retains much of its historic fabric and character but Calenick Street has been substantially reshaped by late 20th century change.

Format type: PDF

523kb
Character Area 3 - Lemon Street Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Lemon Street. Distinctive townscape of the highest quality, with views up and down the sloping street providing some of the defining images of Truro. Although diverse in detail it has a fundamental unity of character based on the genteel elegance and modest scale of the dominant architectural style.

Format type: PDF

689kb

Character Area 4 - Frances Street, Ferris Town and St George’s Road Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Frances Street, Ferris Town and St George’s Road. A new suburb of the 1820-40s with a planned mix of genteel and modest terrace housing in a distinctive, high-quality ‘Cornish Regency’ style. Later elements – the mid 19th century church, chapel, school and vicarage, monumental railway viaduct and Victorian public park – augment the sense of a ‘designed’ urban quarter.

Format type: PDF

580kb

Character Area 5 - The working waterfront Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of  the working waterfront. Formerly a key element in Truro’s prosperity, the surviving waterfront area is now limited in extent and isolated from the historic core. It nevertheless retains within the urban area some distinctive fabric and a symbolic sense of the city’s historic links with maritime trade.

Format type: PDF

 443kb

Character Area 6 - Falmouth Road, Strangways Terrace and Infirmary Hill Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of  Falmouth Road, Strangways Terrace and Infirmary Hill. Large, high quality suburban houses, terraces and institutional buildings in leafy surroundings, set around a historic route into the city and forming one of its finest approaches.

Format type: PDF

616kb

Character Area 7 - Tregolls Road – St Clement’s Hill Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Tregolls Road – St Clement’s Hill. A green suburban approach to the city, with mature trees in the ornamental grounds of large, later 19th century houses the dominant element. Most buildings are significantly masked by greenery. Away from the busy main road the area has a semi-private, secluded air.

Format type: PDF

714kb
Character Area 8 - Kenwyn Road Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Kenwyn Road . The site of the Domesday manor from which Truro developed, this is now a leafy suburb of distinctive, high quality buildings set along a medieval route descending into Truro from the north west.

Format type: PDF

520kb
Character Area 9 - Daniell Street - Carclew Street. Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Daniell Street - Carclew Street. Modest industrial artisan rows and terraces of the earlier 19th century in an area opened up for development after the construction of Lemon Street. Daniell Road represents a significant later 19th century expansion. The terrace and row forms, narrow streets and buildings set hard to the pavement result in a tight grain and strong sense of enclosure.

Format type: PDF

594kb
Character Area 10 - Truro Vean – Mitchell Hill – Malpas Road Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Truro Vean – Mitchell Hill – Malpas Road: the eastern suburbs. A large area of varied 19th century suburban development in an irregular grid across the eastern valley side. There are striking views across the city and the area forms an important part of the green setting for the centre of Truro.

Format type: PDF

759kb
Character Area 11 - Chapel Hill – Station Road Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Chapel Hill – Station Road: the western suburbs. A modest suburban area of the late 19th and early 20th centuries with fine views over the city. It includes the important western approach to Truro via Station Road and the medieval route via Chapel Hill.

Format type: PDF

625kb
Character Area 12a - Morlaix Avenue – Trafalgar Square Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Morlaix Avenue – Trafalgar Square. Former industrial and waterfront area, subject to major change in the later 20th century resulting in almost total loss of historic structures and topography. The area is now dominated by roads, parking and large-scale retail development. Format type: PDF 855kb
Character Area 12b - Upper Pydar Street. Summarises the comprehensive assessments of character and regeneration opportunities of Upper Pydar Street. Set above the city astride a medieval routeway, this was the site of the castle and first planted settlement of Truro. The area has been subject to major later 20th century change and little historic fabric remains. Now dominated by large building complexes, roads and parking. Format type: PDF 487kb
   

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