Cities Journal

Top 15 Small Cities In The UK

Truro, Cornwall
Photo credit: Ennor / Flickr

3. Truro, Cornwall

Showcasing 19th century architecture, cobblestone streets, specialty shops and a bustling farmer’s market, Truro provides visitors with an authentic experience of British country living.

The town’s history dates back to the 12th century. Henry II allotted land to Chief Justice Richard de Luci in exchange for serving in his court. DeLuci built a castle on the land, under which the town of Truro began to grow. It became a prospering port city during the 14thcentury due to thriving fishing and mining industries. However, the Black Plague left the town devastated and virtually abandoned.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the mining industry was revived and Truro flourished as an elite social center, being nicknamed “the London of Cornwall.” According to Wikipedia, Richard Lander, the first gold medalist of the Royal Geographical Society, was among the city’s famous patrons.

After the arrival of the Great Western Railway in the 1860s, the town was awarded a bishop and cathedral. City status was granted by Queen Victoria in 1877.

According to Truro’s website, the town is encompassed by some of England’s most attractive natural landscaping to include Pencalenick Parklands and Tregothnan and Trelissick Gardens. Calenick Creek and the surrounding countryside southeast of the city is world famous for its exceptional beauty.

The website further outlines the city’s cultural and historical value. The Hall for Cornwall Theatre provides residents with live musical performances, children’s shows, ballet and more.

The Royal Cornwall Museum and accompanying Courtney Library offer versatile exhibitions, Cornish archaeology and an Egyptian gallery. Truro Cathedral features the story of the Gospel and history of the Church of England through its stained glass artwork. It’s frequented by over 200,000 visitors annually.

The Cathedral also contains the remains of St. Mary’s Aisle, giving visitors a rare church within a church experience.

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