The charter city of Truro is the tiny, beautiful 'capital' of the Duchy of Cornwall. With an estimated population of 19 000 that near doubles in the summer months, it is in the centre of Cornwall, both geographically and administratively. It grew up around the shipping and mining trades - competing with downriver Falmouth for shipping, which it eventually lost. Truro's strategic position with good rail and sea links meant that the mining trade developed, however, and Truro became a Stannary town. The wealth that came with his made it one of the most affluent areas of the deprived area of Cornwall, such that in the 19th century it was referred to as the 'London of Cornwall'.
Truro is situated at the confluence of three rivers (the word 'Truro' in Cornish means 'Three rivers') - these are the River Kenwyn, River Allen and River Truro (which becomes the River Fal downstream). The city centre is in the valley created by these rivers - much of which are now covered by quays. The remnants of Truro's shipping past still show in the beautiful warehouses on southerly Garras Wharf despite the degree to which the river has become silted. Truro's central location in Cornwall means that other towns and villages are not far: Falmouth and St. Austell are the nearest accessible neighbours, and many choose to live and commute from surrounding satellite villages: Tresillian, Tregony, Shortlanesend, Chacewater, Feock and many more. The popular surfing beaches of the north Cornish coast, and the calm beauty of those on the south are each about 30 minutes drive from Truro. It is also not far off the main road through Cornwall - the A30. Truro has the largest train station in Cornwall, and good bus links to the rest of the region. The combination of central location and good (for Cornwall) transport links make it a popular destination for tourists to stay. It does not, however, have an awful lot to offer the tourist, so has a disproportionate number of hotels and shops!
The main attractions of Truro as a city are the dramatic gothic Cathedral and Victorian Gardens, shops, Royal Cornwall Museum, Hall for Cornwall (gig venue), and pretty Edwardian streets. As the administrative centre, it is also beneficial to tourists as it has the Royal Cornwall Hospital which serves central Cornwall. For the locals, there is also the overwhelming excitement of the council chambers, fire station, 4 secondary schools (2 state, 2 public), the best college in the Duchy, and other such banalities of a county town. Truro is often regarded as being less exciting than surrounding towns of Newquay and Falmouth - this is probably because it is - although it does have to its advantage being clean, non-tacky, the best shops in the Duchy and an array or bars and pubs.
A person from Truro is called a Truronian: famous Truronians are
- Richard Lander (explorer)
- Admiral Boscawen (stopped a ship from sinking with his wig)
- Aphex Twin (lived here with his tank. Wooo.)
- William Golding (wrote Lord of the Flies)
- Roger Taylor (drummer with Queen - although not technically Truronian as he only went to school here)
- Rootjoose! (Okay, you wont know who they are. A local band who were FAB.)