Part of the Acorn Archive

Penzance, Cornwall

Architecture and Heritage

Market Jew Street

The Terrace

The Terrace was originally a high wide path, with a grassy slope down to the “road”.

In 1825, there were no shops to speak of along Market Jew Street.

Lined with trees planted by the Tonkins in 1765, they had all been removed by 1805.

Marghas Yow(1070) = Marchadyou(1257) = Market Jew

It has also been known as East Street. 


The roadway was widened and the Terrace formed with masonry.

Later granite paving slabs were laid, here and on other pavements in town.

From 1826 on The Terrace, and the last was laid in 1834 in Chapel Street.

This is another valuable clue as to the dating and development of buildings.

In am not at sure that others view these stone slabs with the respect which they are owed,

having seen the cavalier way in which they were lifted and handled (and damaged) of late.

The Terrace Railing was formed in 1864.


The Arcade Steps were built in 1880

On the left, very good example of a sensitively designed shopfront.

18 Market Jew Street built 1881

Bolitho Bank built 1863(Photograph 1900)

Barclays Bank built 1963 on the site of the old Bolitho Bank

designed by Geoffrey B Drewitt

I like the discipline of plain (and plane) geometry and its movement.

Nrs 2 to 5 Market Jew Street

3 & 4 were built in 1900

In my well-worn 43 year old copy of an architectural hero’s book

Nikolaus Pevsner’s “The Buildings of England” - Cornwall,

I read “Market Jew Street is rapidly losing its character”.

Whilst the buildings we do have are mutilated and left uncared for,

new tasteless ugly buildings constructed,

and ugly and ill-considered shop fronts continue to proliferate,

Market Jew Street’s character is doomed.


Recent paving to the South side and other works

have done much to improve this part of the town.

And there is the new water feature near Humphry Davy.




Raymond Forward