The Illuminations of Christmas 1858

The Illuminations of Christmas 1858


Posted by  Martha Gathercole

Christmas is always an exciting time of year, full of festivities and fun. The Christmas of 1858 in Truro was one just like this. 

The late Vice-Warden of the Stannaries, John Lucius Dampier, who had served Cornwall’s tin courts during his life, donated the clock to the Hall and Markets of Truro on his death. After debates regarding where this clock would be located, they decided to replace the original clock tower from 1847 and make a new home for this wonderful and generous gift.

On Christmas Eve 1858, the people of Truro gathered together to watch the clock be illuminated for the very first time. Reporting on this event, the Royal Cornwall Gazette wrote that: “its four dials illuminated, for the first time, in the evening of Christmas Eve; and the public of Truro […] much appreciate the utility and ornament thus provided for the town” (December 31st 1858). This quote recognises the role that the Hall played within Truro, showing how City Hall has always brought the people of Truro together. Hall for Cornwall’s current renovation plans will continue this legacy of community and ceremony, by taking it into the future whilst celebrating its heritage. 



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