Helston is a lovely old Cornish market town with a fine heritage and many ancient traditions.
Helston Guildhall © TAB
The town's medieval roots have left an inspiring legacy of winding streets and cobbled alleyways, lined with warm granite and slate houses, which spread out from the main thoroughfare of Coinagehall Street. During the 13th century Helston was a busy trading port and also a stannary town (tin mining administrative centre) until the industry's demise in the 20th century.
Visitors are always welcome here, who come in their thousands each year to enjoy its buzzing cultural events calendar. Beginning with the world famous Flora Dance in May, followed by a varied programme of fun and exciting festivals, such as the Helstonbury Music Festival in July and the International Guitar Festival in August. Also not to be missed are its many traditional events including the "Beating the Bounds" to mark the boundary of the parish and the Harvest Fair & Carnival in September.
Helston's famous Flora or Furry Dance, dates back to pre-Christian times and is held annually on May 8th, when the local people gather flowers and branches and dance through the streets, in and out of the houses.
Helston contains a number of interesting old buildings dating mainly from the 18th-c. A heritage trail map (displayed on the side of the Guildhall), lists the key sites of interest around the town. You can pick up a copy of the trail leaflet from the Guildhall or the Museum. You can also download a copy here.
The parish church of St Michael, built in the mid-18th-c, contains many Elizabethan brasses and a large brass chandelier, made in 1762. Henry Trengrouse (1772 - 1854), who invented the rocket life saving apparatus for sailors is buried in the graveyard. His original apparatus is displayed in the museum. The Old Grammar School, Wendron Street, numbered among its pupils the novelist Charles Kingsley, author of 'The Water Babies'.
Tourist Information Centre:
|79 Meneage Street, Helston, Cornwall TR13 8RB - Tel: 01326 565431|
Located in the old market hall, behind the Guildhall. Founded in 1949, this little gem of a museum contains a fascinating series of exhibits, covering local and social history. Renowned for its traditional costumes, the museum provides regularly changing displays of elegant historic fashion. Explore a reconstructed 1950s kitchen, a Victorian schoolroom and a vintage village shop. One hall covers the Cornish tin mining industry, with tools, mineral specimens, plans and photographs. A large archaeological section provides displays of many interesting finds from all over the Lizard Peninsula.
Opening times: Mon
to Sat: 10am to 4pm - Free
Location: Market Pl, Helston TR13 8TH
Tel: 01326 564027
Coronation Park is peaceful spot with large grassy areas ideal for family fun or a picnic. There's is a large Boating Lake (boats for hire in summer), children's play amenities, cafe and newly refurbished skate park.
Location: Helston, Cornwall, TR13 8SG
This handsome 19th-c former school building has been transformed into a popular centre for contemporary art, with studios and workshops run by the Cornubian Arts & Science Trust (CAST). Come and experience regular art exhibitions, community events, film screenings, talks and creative activities for children and families.
Opening times: times vary, see
website for details
Location: 3 Penrose Rd, Helston TR13 8TP
Tel: 01326 565632