Penzance Cliffs, 1836

Penzance Cliffs, 1836

They still exist.
The Cliffs of Penzance, 1836

The cliffs still exist,
packed behind concrete and brick walls,
one of which is dated as constructed by Penzance Gas Co Ltd 1933.
All the land now in front of these cliffs is made-up ground,
and Wharf Road and the buildings are built on that land.
The first Railway Station was built to the east (in the foreground) of the dark cliff on the right;
behind the two houses in front of the trees, ran Neddy Betty's Lane (now Albert Street),
which finished in a slip into the bay, where vessels beached.
The cliff ends in the picture at the bottom of Jennings Street,
some of that section of cliff appears to have been cut away since.
In the distance is the shipbuilding yard, where ships were launched into the basin.
To the far left was the old lighthouse, a free-standing structure,
which was set on the rocky foreshore off the return end of the pier.

Raymond Forward
They produced some beautiful illustrations; a bygone age that I would rather not come back; it was one of severe deprivation, really hard work, and the streets were filthy beyond description; according to contemporary writings Market Jew Street smelled worse than an open cess-pit, what with tanneries, butchers and fishmongers waste being left for days on end ...
What about my drawing of New Street done when I was about 13? Ah yes, that was a bygone age, alas! No, seriously, these two pics really fill me with nostalgia for what Penzance must have been in the mid nineteenth century. If only it were possible to sample first-hand for a day! Mind you, it makes you wonder how dangerous it was in reality then, getting away from false, nostalgic notions of quaintness.
Let s face it .. you stood a high chance of dying from some dreadful disease, or being ousted by an unscrupulous landlord ... on the street, literally. Crime was petty mostly, or against the general order of life. Crime was a necessity, to survive. Personally I would rather have my bed, than the damp bundle of damp flea ridden straw. The class divide was immense, but philanthropic and provided work for the lucky few. I regret from reading the reported reality, it was not a nice place overall.

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