Padstow in the Past
Padstow is globally known for its May Day Celebrations, and more recently its association with Rick Stein. But the historic port has a rich history with links to Sir Walter Raleigh and many other people. See the photos and hear the audio walk.
Padstow has many gems to its impressive crown. From 1899 it was the home to the important railway link between the town and London.
Sir Walter Raleigh had a home in Padstow. The town has more than 100 listed buildings of which St Petroc’s Church, Prideaux Place and Abbey House are the most significant.
All these are visited as part of BBC Cornwall's walk around the historic port of Padstow. Audio will be added each week during September/October 2008.
The population of the parish is approximately 2,500, which includes nearby Trevone village. In the summer months this figure rises to around 5,500 and day visitors are in the region of 500,000 a year.
Legend has it that St Petroc possibly one of the most important of the Cornish Saints arrived from Ireland around 520 AD and built a monastery on the hill above the harbour.
Sir Walter Raleigh lived in Padstow for a time when he was Warden of Cornwall and his Court House on Riverside was the administrative centre for the collection of taxes and dues. The house still stands by the harbour to this day.
Prideaux Place was built in 1592 by Nicholas Prideaux. The Elizabethan manor survived unaltered until the 18th century when Edmund, Nicholas's great grandson, influenced by his Grand Tour through Italy in 1739, created a formal garden and updated the house by installing modern sash windows and coal burning grates.
'Twelfth Night' starring Helena Bonham Carter and Nigel Hawthorne was filmed at Prideaux Place. It is open to the public until October. However large groups can pre-book throughout the year.
Padstow's War Memorial
The first day of May is Obby Oss day in the north Cornwall town.
The annual celebration is thought to mark the arrival of Spring and is believed to be an ancient fertility festival as well.
It is among the oldest May day traditions in Europe. Many Padstownians travel across the world to be back home for the celebrations.
Padstow attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the town throughout the year, not just in the summer season.
last updated: 12/11/2008 at 08:44