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A Brief History of Manning’s Hotel, Bar & Restaurant

We love the rich and impressive history of our restaurant and hotel buildings. Located on Lemon Street close to the river, they’re notably some of Truro’s most impressive landmarks and it’s not hard to imagine them being a place of significant importance to both residents and visitors of Truro for the last 100 years and more.

They now hold Grade II Listed Building status and we’re very proud to have maintained these wonderful buildings as Manning’s for 30 years – and hope to continue to do so for many to come!

Here’s a snapshot of the history of Manning’s and how we’re honouring it…

Truro was a bustling industrial centre during the early 1800s, dealing in tin smelting, pottery, tannery and wool making. The port at Lemon Quay, named after the prominent mining magnate and Member of Parliament, Sir William Lemon, became central to trade coming in and out of the city.

The bright red telephone boxes are protected as landmarks of significant historical importance.

We’ve traced our building’s history all the way back to 1804, when records show that a hostelry called the King’s Head was newly built and listed for sale by its then occupier, Miss Husband. The advert made much of its position adjacent to Lemon Quay on the new street close to the river (now Lower Lemon Street) as well as highlighting the stables nearby – now converted to our spacious apartments.

Our spacious apartments were formerly stables and then used as a market space.

Records show that in 1806, Mr Pearce from Redruth purchased the hostelry and undertook significant renovations, renaming it Pearce’s Hotel. It became a central and significant location in Truro, hosting many events and celebrations. A mail coach also called in every day on the way to London.

In 1846 the hotel became The Royal to mark a regal visit by Prince Albert! Although Queen Victoria chose to stay nearby instead on the royal yacht, which was moored on the river at Malpas. Later, in 1877, Queen Victoria granted Truro city status.

You’ll spot this old photograph of our building just outside our hotel lounge.

The Royal remained a much-visited hotel throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s while the Industrial Revolution and rising tin prices in the 19th century allowed Truro to really flourish. During this period wealthy tin mine owners built elegant townhouses in the city, including the Georgian buildings erected along Lemon Street.

The original sign for The Royal Hotel, now situated inside Manning’s Hotel.

Many traces of this early building remain. For example, if you stay in one of our rooms on the top floor, you’ll see the original beams lovingly restored and featured.

The original beams are featured in the rooms on our top floor.

This upper floor would have been the staff quarters many years ago. While the renovations were being undertaken, a very old photograph of a former employee was found beneath the floorboards, now on display in the hotel lobby.

A photograph of a former employee was found under the floorboards during renovations.

The beginning of the 20th century saw the mining industry start to decline. Falmouth’s port grew, effectively bypassing Truro as a trading hub. Lemon Quay was covered over in the 1920s and has now been redeveloped as a Piazza and bustling marketplace.

In the 1940s, during the Second World War, many American troops were based in Truro and the local area, training for the D-Day invasion. The Royal Hotel was billeted by the US troops during this period; they enjoyed films, shows and dances in the old Regent Cinema and the bar became a central spot for much merriment!

We’re very proud that after such a long and eventful history, Manning’s remains the place to visit for wonderful food and drink, as well as a relaxing haven in central Truro for weary travellers to rest their heads after exploring Cornwall.

Eat, drink or stay in our historic surroundings and experience Manning’s rich history for yourself!