Penryn makes a March appearance
this year - probably its final Seasonal Area role. The Cornish
town is located on a ridge running eastwards and downwards between
two valleys, both with small streams at the bottom. That to the
south features a string of reservoirs before coming down through
College Wood, while to the north a shorter valley cuts deeply
down through the hillside and an area described by the local
road name as Tremough Dell. (Dells are popular in Cornwall, describing
as they do small wooded valleys with little streams at the bottom).
The southern valley remains
predominantly wooded, though with some farmland - particularly
on the south side. There has been minimal housing development.
The northern valley, by contrast, has been occupied by some of
Penryn's nicer and more secluded properties, somehow managing
to overcome being overlooked by the local road (and its double-deck
buses) to appear as discrete properties nestling amongst the
trees. The most notable is a strange 1930s concrete affair, painted
white and beautifully curved, which squats like some alien intrusion
in the centre of this view and attracts much intrigued, though
admiring, comment from the students who walk past this viewpoint
on their way into the town and its railway station.
The dell was once spanned at
its eastern end, off to the right of this picture, by Penryn
Viaduct - a short affair with stone piers supporting fans of
wooden struts which in turn supported the timber deck on which
the rails were laid. Additional seclusion was provided when in
the 1920s the Great Western Railway replaced this viaduct with
a high embankment and put the stream in a culvert. Now the dell
has no obvious view out onto the world and instead exists as
a little depression. Rail passengers cannot see it, since the
embankment has been allowed to succumb to the march of a highly
intrusive force known as "trees".