Helston is a typical old Cornish town, built of granite and slate. The town is a maze of narrow street and alleyways, lined with quaint old houses and shops, which spreads out from the main thoroughfare of Coinagehall Street.

During the 13th century Helston was a port, until sand finally silted up its harbour mouth. It was also a stannary town (or tin mining administrative centre) until the industry died out earlier in the 20th century.

Helston Guildhall

Helston Guildhall © TAB

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. The origin of the dance's name is obscure; it might be a corruption of the Roman "Flora" or derive from the Celtic feur (fair).

Helston contains a number of interesting old buildings dating from the 18th century. A town trail map (displayed on the side of the Guildhall), lists the main sites of interest within the town.

The parish church of St Michael, built in the mid-18th century, 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

Content by Steve B

Places of interest to visit in Helston

Helston MuseumHelston Folk Museum

Located in the Old Butter Market building, near the Guildhall. It contains a large exhibition describing the tin mining industry, with tools, mineral specimens, plans and photographs. The archaeological section contains finds from all over the Lizard Peninsula.

Map of Helston


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