Pictures of Lostwithiel
Lostwithiel, once the 13th-century capital of Cornwall and lively centre of the tin trade, sits on the River Fowey in the heart of the Fowey Valley.
The town was founded by the Normans who thought it to be an ideal place from which to export the tin from the local tin mines. 800 years ago the river was generously wide and of a depth suited to the large sea going vessels used for shipping cargos of tin to foriegn ports. The growth of the tin trade meant prosperity for the town and it's people and the port quickly earned the reputation of being the busiest port along this stretch of coastline. Activities continued right up to the 16th-century when navigation up the river as far as Lostwithiel bridge was possible. There are remains of Quays still to be found in this area.
It was the Earls of Cornwall who were responsible for the development of Lostwithiel and Earl Edmund is known to have talked in lyrical terms of the beauty of Lostwithiel. Some very fine buildings still remain as a legacy from this great age.
The town is known to have taken a battering during the Civil War when it was occupied by the Parliamentarians. The Royalists laid siege during the late summer of 1644 and the Parliamentarians were ousted but not before causing much damage to town and people. Restormel Castle was also held but as with the town, the castle was quickly regained by the Royalists. The towns-people were left devastated, but the sturdy cornishmen, with encouragement from the Earls of Cornwall, soon set about rebuilding the town.
The beautiful medieval bridge still spans the River Fowey and the parish church of St. Bartholomew, built in the 13th-century, retains its original spire with octagnol windowed base called a lantern, that was added a century later. There are many grand buildings of which the 18th-century Grammer School in Queen Street, is one of the finest of it's period. Duchy House, dates 14th-century and includes the remains of Stanary court. There are some very fine examples of Georgian architecture in Fore Street.
Lostwithiel Museum is housed in the old Corn Exchange and here the visitor can learn a little of life in these parts over the past two centuries. The beautiful National Trust property of Lanhydrock House is but a short distance away. This house reflects the lifestyle of Victorian gentry and is well worth a visit. The house is open throughout the season but remains closed from October 31st to March 31st. The magnificent grounds to the house can be visited throughout the year.
Being not far from the coast, stunning scenery is all around and there are some very pretty villages close-by, Lerryn, St. Winnow, Milltown and Lanreath are all worth a visit. This whole area is steeped in ancient myths and legends, pop into any local inn and you will find friendly locals all happy to entertain you with tales of bygone days.
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