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Helston

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Cornwall  /  Helston
(3.9/5 based on 4,600+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: wildlife areas, theme parks, sightseeing
Helston is a town and civil parish in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is situated at the northern end of the Lizard Peninsula approximately east of Penzance and south-west of Falmouth. Helston is the most southerly town on the island of Great Britain and is around 1.5mi farther south than Penzance. The population in 2011 was 11,700.The former Stannary and cattle market town is best known for the annual Furry Dance (known locally as the Flora Dance), said to originate from the medieval period. However, the Hal-an-Tow is reputed to be of Celtic origin; but not the song that was much later. In 2001, the town celebrated the 800th anniversary of the granting of its Charter.HistoryThe name comes from the Cornish 'hen lis' or 'old court' and 'ton' added later to denote a Saxon manor; the Domesday Book refers to Henliston (which survives as the name of a road in the town). Only one edition refers to 'Henlistona'. It was granted its charter by King John on the 15 April 1201, for the price of forty marks of silver. It was here that tin ingots were weighed to determine the duty due to the Duke of Cornwall when a number of stannary towns were authorised by royal decree. A document of 1396 examined by Charles Henderson shows that the old form "Hellys" was still in use The manor of Helston in Kerrier was one of the seventeen Antiqua maneria of the Duchy of Cornwall. The seal of the borough of Helston was St Michael his wings expanded and standing on a gateway. The two towers domed upon the up-turned dragon, impaling it with his spear and bearing upon his left arm an escutcheon of the arms of England, viz Gu three lions passant guardant in pale Or, with the legend "Sigillum comunitatis helleston burg".
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