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PENZANCE A TOWN RICH IN HISTORY
Penzance, a popular seaside town located in the southernmost area of England, in West Penrith, enjoys splendid views across Mount's Bay to St Michael's Mount. The numerous prehistoric remains and Christian sites of archaelogical interest reflect the religious importance of the area, both pagan and Christian. For centuries the area around Penzance was of great political and strategic importance. The town was attacked by the Spanish in 1595 and Mount St Michael was transformed from a monastery into a fortification to ward off further invasions.
The historical and religious importance of Penzance and surrounding areas is undisputed and has much to offer both the casual tourist and the discerning visitor in search of history and places of legendary interest.
The origin of the name Penzance testifies to its ancient religious interest. It derives from the Cornish Penn Sans (Penn headland) Sans (holy) meaning "holy headland" or place by the holy headland. The reference is to the old chapel of St Mary once located on the headland at the bottom of the modern Chapel Street.
Penzance originated as a small fishing village but developed into a town with its own charter in 1332. Over the centuries Penzance suffered a number of setbacks including two epidemics, the first in 1578 and another in 1647. During the Civil War Penzance was staunchly royalist and suffered at the hands of the Parliamentarians who plundered the town. The social and political fortunes of the town began to change at the restoration of the monarchy and in 1663 King Charles II granted the town the right to mint coins. Meanwhile during the 18th century the town and port grew in importance mainly due to the growth of the mining industry.
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