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

Photography

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The St Just Horse Drawn Bus Arriving At Penzance Through Alverton Road

This horsedrawn bus carried passengers and goods, often fruit and vegetables for the Penzance markets

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Bedford Bolitho Gardens, Penzance

This is the Bedford Bolitho Gardens which were built on the site of the former Serpentine Works and industrial wasteland belonging to the GWR at Wherrytown reusing much of the stone to create flower beds, seating and shelters. This Bedford Bolitho Garden and the adjoining Thomas Robins Bolitho Gardens had been opened on 24 May 1916 by T Robins Bolitho without ceremony because of the war situation. The garden was destroyed on the night of 6 to 7 March 1962 in the Ash Wednesday storms. In 2011 it is a recreation area for the public. Two girls are pictured here beside the guns, one from the Crimea War and one from the Boer war. At the raised centre of the flower bed is an ornamental stone urn. Lamps are hung over the shelters which have benches inside. Outside, telegraph poles stretch towards Newlyn and there is an advertisement for a cinema plastered to the wooden building to the right.

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Turnpike Hill, Marazion. Frith Photograph Reference 69751

Turnpike Hill, Marazion at a time when the water pump in the foreground would have been in use. Two horses with one rider are coming up the hill on the 'wrong side' and an unidentified man stands to watch them.

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Three Camaret Crabbers In Shelter Alongside Smeaton's Pier, St Ives In April 1937

The picture shows the aftermath of the storm of Tuesday 20 April 1937 when five French crabbers from Camaretran ran for shelter fo St Ives. The St Ives Long Liners, 'Our John' SS64 and 'Sheerness' 510 were battered by this gale and had difficulty getting to safety. Dozens of local and Breton fishermen worked together to pull 'Sheerness' into harbour. One of the Frenchment broke his finger, jamming it between the rope and a bollard. Many photographs were taken of the Camaret crabbers.

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St Michael's Mount From Marazion Beach

View of St Michael's Mount from Marazion beach. No. 31796. The masts of two topsail schooners are just visible, which may have been delivering household coal, for domestic use on the Mount or in the neighbourhood of Marazion. In earlier times, the Mount harbour had rivalled Penzance in commercial terms, handling large numbers of vessels engaged in mining related trade. Norwegian sailing vessels berthed here to discharge balk-timber, while British vessels brought in coal for the mine pumping and winding engines and carried away thousands of tons of copper ore. At the time of this photograph there were no pine trees on the Mount.

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HMS Warspite Being Broken Up As Part of The Salvage Operation In Mounts Bay

HMS Warspite broke away from the salvage tow taking her to a breaker's yard. After running aground at Prussia Cove on 23 April 1947 she was refloated on the next day's tide. She is pictured here with a salvage crane on board being broken up in Mounts Bay. This process took over five years.

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Roger's Folly At Castle An Dinas, Ludgvan

Roger's Tower or Folly is at Castle an Dinas above Ludgvan 763 feet above sea level. It commands a view over Mounts Bay, the North coast and,it is said, 24 church towers. It was built in the late 1700s by one of the Rogers family who owned and farmed Treassowe. It resembles a small castle. On vacating Treassowe, the Rogers took over the Penrose Estate at Helston and for some time called themselves the Rogers of Treassowe and Penrose. Baring Gould comments that there were at least two concentric rings of fortification and numerous hut circles here, but these have been much pulled about when an absurd imitation ruinous tower was erected on the summit. In 2014 it is a site of a quarry managed by Cornwall Council.

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A Local Old Cornwall Society Celebrates Midsummer Eve At Roger's Folly At Castle An Dinas, Ludgvan

Roger's Tower or Folly is at Castle an Dinas above Ludgvan 763 feet above sea level. It commands a view over Mounts Bay, the North coast and,it is said, 24 church towers. It was built in the late 1700s by one of the Rogers family who owned and farmed Treassowe. It resembles a small castle. On vacating Treassowe, the Rogers took over the Penrose Estate at Helston and for some time called themselves the Rogers of Treassowe and Penrose. Baring Gould comments that there were at least two concentric rings of fortification and numerous hut circles here, but these have been much pulled about when an absurd imitation ruinous tower was erected on the summit. In 2014 it is a site of a quarry managed by Cornwall Council.

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A Celebration of Sand, Sea And Pasties

This photograph was taken for the local tourism guide and shows a family enjoying home made pasties on their outing to the beach

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Beehive Hut On The Top of Chapel Carn Brea.

Beehive Huts were found in West Penwith and this one was at the top of Chapel Carn Brea.The only remaining one built to the same specifications is at Bosporthennis five miles away. Both have a recess at floor level opposite the entrance. The winter solstice sunrise shone along the passage of the barrow. It could be that the original fougou was adapted for a new ceremony. One theory is that it marked the end of the matriarchal way of life based on the tin trade to a more religious and masculine life style. Very little remains of this hut in 2014. Comparisons could be made with the theories about Stonehenge and similar structures in Greece and Spain.

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A Carnival Float In Banks Square, St Just

This is the lifeboat float for a carnival or special event standing in Bank Square, St Just in Penwith. Boat 93 is being drawn by one beautifully groomed shire horse with a driver standing on the shafts, 4 crew and a young sailor. The Royal Standard is at the stern, the Union Flag at the front. A notice declares ‘Liverpool across the Atlantic’. Bystanders are neatly dressed.

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Warspite

HMS Warspite ran aground at Prussia Cove on 23 April 1947, having broken her tow to the breaker's yard. There is a distress flare on the stern. She was refloated on the next day's tide.

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Interior of Breage Church Showing Medieval Wall Paintings

These medieval paintings had been painted over during Cromwell's Reformation and had recently beeen rediscovered. A similar situation existed at the church in St Just in Penwith.

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The Iron Cannon From The Anson

Captain Anderson had raised the iron cannon from The Anson on 11 April 1903. He is pictured here in his Sunday best, with his wife, family and crew in the hold of his ship, The Greencastle. The cannon later disintegrated due to lack of conservation techniques.

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Salvage Work On Wreck of 'Cviet'

On 26 January 1884 the Austrian wooden brigantine Cviet, built in North Shields in 1870, en route from Santo Domingo in the Dominican republic to Falmouth with dye and wood was wrecked east of Porthleven whilst running for harbour. Three lives were lost. This photograph shows the badly damaged boat on the beach with several figures around and large pieces of timber on the sand.The Cviel, a wooden barque, was wrecked near Loe bar, Porthleven. Salvage work is being carried out as wreckers pose for the camera.

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Jenny Lind Court

This is a happy scene of a lady and two gentlemen enjoying the sunshine in the Fradgan, Newlyn. Jenny Lind Court, thought to have been named after the boat pictured. Note how clean everything looks. What is being done with the capstan on theright?

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Black And White Photograph

The first GWR bus on the St.Just route. Driver Mr W.C.Bolton. Parked outside Arica House and the Commercial Hotel in the square, St.Just. There is compartment behind driver for parcels; also used by smokers when empty. The driver is wearing his licence badge and the conductor can be seen in the left of the picture.. The round plaque above the doorway could be connected to local cycle club

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Seas Breaking Over The Wreck of The SS Ornais II At Trebarvah Beach, Perranuthnoe

The French steam ship SS Ornais II, built at Bordeaux in 1920, ran aground on Trebarvah Beach, Perranuthnoe on 5, 6 or 7 December 1929. This postcard shows waves breaking over the wreck. She was on passage from Le Havre to Port Talbot for coal. All her crew survived; the wreck broke up on the beach. St Michael's Mount is in the background.

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Warspite Ashore At Prussia Cove 23.4.47

The Warspite was a battleship with a distinguished career which had broken adrift whilst being towed to the breaker's yard. The picture shows it striking Mopus Ledge. The following morning's tide lifted it off and drove it towards Prussia Cove.

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Warspite

HMS Warspite broke away from the salvage tow taking her to a breaker's yard. After running aground at Prussia Cove on 23 April 1947 she was refloated on the next day's tide. She is pictured here with a salvage crane on board being broken up in Mounts Bay. This process took over five years.

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Warspite

HMS Warspite at Prussia Cove Having broken her tow to the breaker's yard, HMS Warspite ran aground at Prussia Cove on 23 April 1947. There is a distress flare on the stern. HMS Warspite broke away from the salvage tow taking her to a breaker's yard. She was refloated on the next day's tide.

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St Martin's, Isles of Scilly

This is a picture poscard view of St Martin's from St Mary's Hill, St Mary's Isles of Scilly. The old field formation is in evidence, bordered by thick stone walls to keep out the sea winds.

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Seas Breaking Over The Wreck of The SS Ornais II At Trebarvah Beach, Perranuthnoe

On the eastern side of the island, this is a view from the top of Signal Row. The hedges around small fields provide shelter for early crops such as flowers and potatoes. In Roman times the islands were a single island known as En Noer, The Land. In 2011, S Martin's is thriving with fishing, farming, market gardening and a reputation for good food and hospitality.

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Mary Nance Cards Sheeps' Wool Ready For Spinning

Mrs Mary Nance is carding wool in a cottage on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly. Wool preparation was an organised home industry which gave a respectable living to the islander. Gibson made an effort to record everyday happenings such as this so that the way of life would not be forgotten. The device on the lady's lap is a shovel shaped implement onto which the raw wool from sheep was laid so that the piece in her right hand could be repeatedly passed over it to straighten it before being twisted into bundles as lie in dishes on the table ready for dying and spinning. The hide of the animal would be treated and made into clothing, shoes, buckets, etc. The flesh would be eaten, the bones and blood used as manure. Natural daylight illuminates the sitter and the work as oil to light the lanterns was rather precious, and smelly. Another photographs shows a spinning wheel inside the kitchen.

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A Field of Narcissus At Rocky Hill Looking Towards Newford Island

This may well have been one photograph in a series to illustrate the efficiency of the Great Western Railway in transporting consignments of delicate blooms from the extreme south-west of the United Kingdom, the Isles of Scilly, to mainland markets. There is a twin photograph to this, possibly part of the same picture. It shows William Trevillick standing to the right in a dark suit and stove hat. The bulbs are planted in beds rather than in rows. Note the windbreak and planting on the edge of the field.

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