Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
The artistic heart of West Cornwall's history

Photography

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Penzance And District Agricultural Association Show In Ponsandane Field, Penzance

The Annual Whit Monday Penzance District Agricultural Association Show had a main ring for a show jumping event.

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Black And White Photograph

The Eastern Promenade in Penzance in the late afternoon sunshine overlooking the railway terminus with the goods shed and station buildings. The covered seating booths and benches provided a view over the Railway Station to Mounts Bay towards The Lizard. Behind the wall to the right was Ponsandane Nursing Home, now an apartment block. There is a terrace of large houses beyond this with the Cliff Hotel before Mabbots Stores. Oppposite the station is the Railway Hotel with the goods shed to its right. The gasometer supplying the area with Town Gas can be seen in the background between the station and the goods shed.

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Stranded Whales

After the beaching, the 60 or so whales were not re-floated and Coastguard Liutenant Chambers ordered their shooting.

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Mousehole From The Air

The enclosed harbour of Mousehole as shown in this aerial photograph, dates back to the Victorian era when it gave shelter to over 100 boats. Within its walls there was a boat building industry. Originally two separate towns, it became in the 20th century a haven for tourists and second home owners. Originally this could have been 2 separate towns, Porthey and Porthengrouse, separated by stream.

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The View of Chyandour From The Lane Above The Barracks

A view of Chyandour taken from the lane above the old barracks. To the left of centre the coaling stage and engine sheds lie near the sea. The tall goods shed is behind the flat-roofed Ponsandane signal box. The house in the foreground is Ponsandane Lodge and this faces the home of Mrs Furse, the retired Ponsandane housekeeper. Behind this is the Bolitho Estate Office in the middle of bottom of the picture. Chyandour Barracks is in the bottom right hand of the picture behind the ridge roof of the County Police Station. In the middle of the picture can be seen two pipes in the sea which were for land drainage.

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Chyandour Smelting House

Chyandour Smelting House, formerly a blowing house owned by the Tremenheere family of Castle Horneck. It was acquired by the Bolitho family in 1806. The smelting house employed up to 25 men and had four furnaces which smelted ore from the mines around Camborne and St Just. The tin ingots were stamped with the "Agnus Dei" commonly known as the lamb and flag. After 200 years, it closed in 1912 and was demolished in 1930.

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St John's Church

This is a view of Penzance with St John's Church in foreground. The church had been built to accommodate the town population which had doubled in fifty years.

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Penzance Harbour Pictured From Albert Pier At Low Tide On A Summer's Afternoon

This is Penzance Harbour as viewed from Albert Pier towards Holman's dry dock and St.Mary's Church pictured at low tide in summer. The style of boats and the relatively small number of them at moorings suggests that this dates from the 1950s before the creation of the car park.

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The Lugger Fleet

Gibson took this photograph of the fleet leaving Penzance Harbour from the balcony outside their shop in Market Jew Street opposite the top of New Street.

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Penzance Harbour Moorings

The Penzance fishing boat Fortune lies moored with other boats including Trinity House stone barge in the foreground, and Trinity House steamer Silva in the background.

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James And John Burt's Harbourside Premises Near The Abbey Slip

This is a photograph depicting James and John Burt's Harbourside Premises near the Abbey Slip. It was taken prior to the construction of the Wharf Road, Penzance. The building the company was situated in may be the Old Bath House. The building towards the south west appears to be an old lime kiln. The two brothers were living with their parents in 16 St Clare Street in 1861 but were not in the 1871 census but appeared in the 1881 census in America. Their board read that they were ship and general, smithery, block and mast maker, ship boat and builder.

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Abbey Slip, Penzance

The steps are on Abbey slip linking Wharf Road with Chapel Street. The Church is St Mary’s Church, Penzance’s Mother church whose tower can be seen in the background. To its right is the bell tower of the West Cornwall Girls’ School. Below this is a warehouse which in 2015 is an office block. The Abbey Basin was completed in 1884 three years after the Ross Bridge was built to link the North and South Piers. The area to the right was also known as East Cliff referring to the time before erosion took away these cliffs. The picture is familiar as the subject of Stanhope Forbes painting of Abbey Basin. A two masted ship, yacht and a few rowing boats are in the harbour at full tide.

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Wharfside In The Early 1960s

Wharfside Penzance, just after the building of the car park in the early 1960s. The gas works is operational; Cornish Mines Supplies and Willie Hall Haulage occupy site of present day Wharfside shopping development Willie Hall and Dodges Mine uses a dark blue livery whilst that of the Cornish Mines was orange. Branwell Mills was then Parker's Department Store.

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View of The Ross Bridge And Viaduct Towards St.Mary's Church, Penzance

This is a photograph taken by a telescopic lens from the Albert Pier towards the Abbey Bank. Outbuildings of J W Legg's boat building shed and the storage tanks of American Oil Company lie adjacent to the dry dock and predates the 1926 renovations.

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Near High Tide, A View From Abbey Slip

A Bedford lorry makes its way towards the Ross Bridge. In the background lies Rank's store, to the right, the old Smithy as viewed from Abbey Slip. A diesel coaster lies alongside the outer awl of the North arm of the floating dock.

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Looking Eastwards From Abbey Slip

There are pilot boats and rowing boats on the moorings in the foreground. On the left is the Jennings Street Lifeboat House built in 1885 by Messrs Perkins and Caldwell to accommodate the new Penzance Lifeboat, 'Dora'. To the right are sheers of sheer legs which may have been used to build the wharves or for cargo handling. Beyond Ross Bridge there is a steamer,schooners and other mercantile sailing craft alongside Albert Pier.

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Looking Towards Penzance Town From Its Harbour

At high tide, the view from the north arm of the floating dock shows a new and shiny Richard Smith's smithy and the Penzance Lifeboat Station either side of the Ross Bridge which was opened in November 1880. The clear water span is 40', its total length 87' 11", the pivot being 15' 6" from the face of the abutment.

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The Ross Bridge From Abbey Basin

At low tide, looking towards the Albert Pier, masonry above the tide line is still bright and clean but there is a good growth of seaweed on the viaduct and abutments of the bridge piers. There are 3 pilot boats on running moorings. There is a transom sterned steamboat with legs on the left which is a rough working boat, possibly the Dream.

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Matthew's Ship-building And Repair Yard, Abbey Basin, Penzance

Children are picking cockles in Penzance inner harbour; a lute-sterned yawl lies dried out in the centre foreground. Over 6 metres (20 feet) long with roller-reefing fore-stay sails, these boats are believed to have been hired out for pleasure cruising in Mount's Bay. In the right background a trawling or pilot cutter stands high and dry. A two-masted vessel is under construction on Matthew's building slip. This could be the Lady St Aubyn, a 2 masted schooner and the last such vessel built in Penzance.

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Sailing Drifters In Penzance Harbour In The 1880s

Penzance Dock is shown here with Lowestoft sailing drifters, luggers and smacks as recorded in large numbers by the harbour master in the Springs from 1885 to 1889.

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The Ross Bridge From Abbey Basin

The main feature in this photo is the Trinity House steam tender lying aground at her moorings. It could be either the Mermaid, Warden or Alert. Construction of the north arm of the new floating dock is in progress as well as the base of the pier that was to carry the new swing bridge. The wharves fronting Trinity House and Matthews's sawmills and shipyard have yet to be obscured by the new west wall of the dock.

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Penzance Dry Dock Under Construction

The new Penzance Dry Dock is under construction, showing the amount of harbour about to be re-claimed and in-filled for the new road and wharf. The practice of robbing the old quay walls for cut granite left the existing quays ill supported, leading to several collapses. A new road was built to link Ross Bridge with the Promenade; the old road to Newlyn being Voundevour Lane. Penzance Quay Fair was a victim of this redevelopment but was revived in the 1980s as part of the Golowan Festival.

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A Motor Pleasure Launch Embarks For Excursion Around Mounts Bay In The 1950s

Alongside the Ross Bridge slip is the high tide embarkation point for pleasure vessels. The boats were not obliged to carry life saving equipment for all of its passengers until the 1970s.

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Penzance Harbour Office Prior To Demolition In 1935

Harbour Office Penzance,1935, with a lorry on the weighbridge. The octagonal building was next to the Dolphin Inn and was a distinctive feature in the Penzance maritime and commercial sector. In mid 1840s there was a cupola window on the roof of the building which served as a pilot's look out post, but it was later removed. The Office was demolished as part of road improvements associated with the building of the Jubilee Pool in 1935 and the St Anthony Gardens. It was replaced by the current office and weigh-bridge alongside the former Trinity House Depot. Work relating to the above improvements is in progress in the background.

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