Helston and Neighbourhood
Helston is a market town, and borough, both corporate and parliamentary, in the hundred of Kerrier; 277 miles from London, and 99 from Exeter; situated on the great road from the last named city to the Land's End, on the side of a hill that gently declines towards the west and terminates on the margin of a vale, through which passes the small river Cober. This town, one of considerable antiquity, has its castle, the site of which is the present bowling green. Most of the houses range along four principle streets, which intersect each other at right angles, forming a centre or cross, where stand a handsome market-house and a convenient town-hall. The streets are well paved and gas-lighted; a stream of water runs through them, and they are kept remarkably clean. The Coinage Hall is at the extremity of the street which bears its name. Helston derives considerable prosperity from the surrounding mines, among which is the vast and productive tin mine 'Wheal Vor,' about three miles distant: this mine extends more than a mile and a half underground, and the expenses of working it amounts commonly to 5,000 (Pounds) a month. The borough has received, at various times, no fewer than sixteen charters, each either granting or augmenting some privilege; the first is said to have been conferred by King John, in the year 1201. Helston was made one of the coinage towns of Cornwall, by Edward I, who also extended to it the privilege of sending two members to parliament. The Reform Bill deprived it of one member; and the New Municipal Act vested the government in a mayor, four aldermen and twelve councillors, and styled the corporate body 'the mayor and commonalty of the borough of Helston.' The right of voting is with the 10 (Pounds), householders of the borough and of the adjoining parish of Sithney, and part of the parish of Wendron.
The chapel of ease, dedicated to Saint Michael, is a handsome structure, with a lofty pinnacled tower; the living is ? The appointment of the vicar of Wendron. The other places of worship are for Baptists and Wesleyan Methodists, who have handsome chapels. There are several good schools for children of both sexes, none of which, however, are endowed; but the corporation contributes a sum towards the income of the master of the grammar school, who has a handsome dwelling, rent free, which was given by the Late Duke of Leeds for that purpose. The dispensary here is well supported. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday; fairs January 16th, March 16th and 30th; Whit-Monday, July 22nd, September 9th, October 28th and December 7th and 14th: the Whitsuntide fair is the largest. Wendron parish contained, in 1831 (independent of Helston Borough) 4,780 inhabitants, and Helston 3,293; in 1941, the population respectively was 4,780 and 3,505: that of Sithney parish (in the borough of Helston) at the last-named period was 3,362.
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