Penzance is the largest town in West Cornwall, famous as an ancient market town and historic port.
The town has a long history as a prosperous market town and fishing port; the town was granted the status of a Borough in 1614 by King James I. By becoming a Borough, Penzance was independent of the County Courts so that the town could run its own legal affairs. The town continued to prosper throughout the centuries through its trade in fish with Europe and tin from the nearby mines.
Today Penzance has a thriving business sector with a wide range of independent shops, cafes and galleries. Every year the town hosts the ever-popular and internationally famous Golowan Festival which is a celebration of midsummer and the Feast of St John – the patron saint of Penzance. The festival was revived in 1991 and has gone from strength to strength each year. The town welcomes tens of thousands of people to the week-long festival for colourful parades, dancing, music, street food, market stalls and firework display.