St Johns Hall and Swann’s Wool & Toy Shop.
The shops in the foreground of this painting were originally 18th century cottages and some of the oldest buildings in this western part of Penzance. Swann’s Wool and Toy Shop was an important business in the town that sold just about everything and is still fondly remembered. They also ran coach trips, ‘Swann’s Tours’ from these shops. The buildings were badly damaged by a severe boiler explosion in 1961, which killed Mr Swann and injured his wife and daughter. The shops were later demolished and the furnishing firm of Alfred Smith & Sons expanded onto the site in 1966. They already occupied the taller building off to the right-hand edge of this painting, which had been their premises since 1840. The large granite building in the background is St Johns Hall, built from stone quarried at Lamorna and opened in 1867. It served as the headquarters of the borough council for much of the 20th century, up until 1974 when local government was then run from St Clare.
- Stanhope Alexander Forbes
- Oil on canvas
- 51.2 x 64 cm
- Land & Sea