Falmouth High Street
There is no denying that Falmouth has perhaps one too many hills’s to climb but, it’s fair to say they are all worth climbing! For example, the climb up to the viewing area above the docks not only gives you the vantage point to see what goes on in the busy shipyard but you also get a panoramic view of the harbour, back across the Town, up the carrick roads, across to St Mawes and did we mention there is, more often than not, an ice-cream van parked up?
Climb to the top of Jacobs ladder and you will get a great view over and across Falmouth Moor, climb up to Sea View terrace and get another great view of our historic harbour, climb up Falmouth High Street and you will see some of the Town’s oldest and listed buildings that are now home to some great businesses.
Antiques, clothes, cakes, hairdresser’s and restaurants are just a few of the many offerings packed into one street and an old brewery yard.
The original street, developed in the C17th was called, ‘Ludgate Hill’. At the top, the congregational chapel still stands but has passed through several guises. Purpose built as a chapel in 1705 the building was then bought by the Killigrews and became the Town hall around 1725. It was also used as a courthouse and in 1884 was the scene of a trial that saw two sailors tried, and acquitted, for eating a cabin boy when their ship sank and they were cast adrift. Thankfully such moments in history are long gone and the building is now home to and art gallery. It is worth popping in to see the gallery and of course, get an idea of the buildings history.
A little way down the hill is Barracks Ope. From here you can look down and imagine the famous Cutty Sark anchored in the harbour below where it was moored between 1923 and 1928.
The mid section of the high street was destroyed in 1862 by one of the largest fires recorded in Cornwall, resulting in 400 people being made homeless. Believe it or not, the narrow street we see today is actually 10 feet wider than it was prior to rebuilding after the blaze.
The high street has gone through several changes, adaptations and modifications over the years and as you walk to the top of the high street you will see one of the most obvious examples. The archway, although designed to look older was in fact only added by Peter de Savary in the late 80’s early 90’s. De Savary is possibly better known for founding, Pendennis Shipyard in 1988.
Aside from all the wonderful shops and old buildings to see along the way, this hill has one other wonderful reason for climbing……
Do you have a favourite vantage point when you visit Falmouth?