Market town in Cornwall, England, and administrative headquarters of the county, on the River Truro, a branch of the Fal, 14 km/9 mi north of Falmouth; population (2001) 20,900. It is a business centre.
Truro was the traditional meeting place of the Stannary (local parliament; see Cornwall), and was formerly a centre and port for the now defunct tin-mining industry. The cathedral, designed by J L Pearson (1817–1897) dates from 1880–1910, and the museum and art gallery has works by John Opie. Present industries include pottery, biscuit manufacturing, and seaweed fertilizer.
Places of historical interest Truro is the Treuru of the Domesday Book. The old borough comprised the parish of St Mary, on land at the junction of the Allen and Kenwyn rivers, but even in Tudor times the township had grown beyond these narrow limits. John Leland (in about 1535) mentions ‘Kenwyn Streate’ and ‘Clementes Streate’, suburbs of Truro. They were not formally incorporated until 1835. The Allen is still a noticeable feature with its three bridges. Kenwyn River runs underground through the centre of the city, but there is an attractive walk to the Victoria Gardens along the river's upper reaches. Lemon Street (c. 1795), named after an 18th-century merchant, is a splendidly planned street mentioned under the name of ‘Orange Street’ in Hugh Walpole's novels. In Prince's Street, named after the Regent, is the house of Mr Lemon, with its massive mahogany woodwork. Henry Martyn, the missionary philologist, was born here, and is commemorated in the cathedral by the baptistry. Nearby is the site of the old Coinage Hall, where for 500 years until 1837 royal officials came to examine the smelted tin and where the Stannary held its often stormy gatherings. Welsey also preached there. The County Museum and Art Gallery contains many paintings by John Opie (1761–1807) and by modern Cornish artists. Near the museum is the site of the Dominican Friary, of which the church was dedicated in 1259. The cattle market, the most important in the county, was built in 1840 on the site of Truro Castle. Notable schools are the high school for girls founded in 1880 by Bishop Benson; the Cathedral School for boys founded in 1549 or earlier, as the Truro grammar school; and, on a hill above the cathedral and city, the Truro School, founded in 1879.
The cathedral The whole city is dominated by the cathedral whose central tower is 76 m/250 ft high. The ancient diocese was re-established in 1876, and the cathedral was the first erected in Britain after the rebuilding of St Paul's in the reign of Charles II. The foundation stone was laid on 20 May 1880, by the Duke of Cornwall (later Edward VII). In 1903 the nave was added and the central tower in 1904. In 1910 the western towers, named after Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, were dedicated.