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Our History

The Penrose name as a canvas sail and tent manufacturer has been present in Cornwall, and more precisely Truro, for an extremely long time - perhaps as far back as the 17th Century.

The Old Penrose Building in Truro

Pre 1920 the majority of Town Quay in Truro was occupied by a rail mounted crane that loaded and unloaded the cargo ships that docked in Truro. The increase in business in the port in the 1920's resulted in a demand for additional warehouses this was when the building that is now Penrose Outdoors was built, complete with its own crane. The building was owned and operated up until the 1970's by Coast Lines Ltd (now P&O) as a warehouse store for goods that arrived in the port.

In the 1970's the original Camping shop was previously located across what is now Morlaix Avenue, adjacent to the present Haven House. The preceding building to Haven House was then utilised as a sail making facility as far as we know.

The Penrose Business- some History

Penrose Marquee's, Sail Makers and Canvas production were separated from W. Penrose & Son's and sold off in parts some time in the 70's but the camping shop was retained only to be bought a few years later by Lark Construction and moved to its present location where the lower floor served as the camping shop and the upper floor as offices for the construction company.

After a management buy out in 1985 the current owner of Penrose Outdoors took charge of the camping business and built the retail business as we know it up over many years.

The building under went a major refit in the October of 1996.

The increasing popularity of folding and trailer tents in the 90's allowed Penrose Outdoors to expand and sister company Penrose Touring was started in Redruth.

September 2016 saw the sale of the Truro store to Regatta to facilitate the retirement of the owner. The Ski & Tent business now lives on, in a new chapter as Three Zero on the old A30 at Victoria.

Modern Penrose Outdoors - Technical Outdoor Retailer until Sept 2016

The outdoors element to Penrose Outdoors slowly developed over the years as the technical clothing and equipment market has evolved. Companies like The North Face, Berghaus and Rab moved from providing apparel solely for hard core climbers and now cater for the larger spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts, like hikers, runners and snow sports enthusiasts. With outdoor activities becoming ever more popular and accessible, Penrose Outdoors had an extensive range of outdoors apparel to offer. Included were  all aspects of active clothing from base layers, mid layers, fleeces and breathable garments, to outerwear, including a bewildering array of technical jackets to suit any activity and climate. Walking and hiking footwear in the form of shoes, boots, sandals and socks. A range of rucksacks from 10 to 100+ litres catered for day trippers to full scale explorers.

Penrose & Rohan

We were proud to also be the only Rohan retailer in the South West. The shop in shop offered a great range of Rohan's technical clothing. Rohan prides itself on providing lightweight, technical clothing with unmatched longevity. Their subtle design ethic proves to be equally suited to use at home or on the mountain.

Rohan have returned to work with us with a 'shop in shop' at the Three Zero store on the old A30 at Victoria bringing the full Rohan range back to Cornwall.

Ski & Snowboard

Penrose Outdoors entered the skiing retail market in the mid 90's selling ski clothing and accessories and also supplying ski hire to local schools as we still do today. Ski and snowboarding hardware was introduced in 2006. In the winter months we had an extensive range of ski gear on display on its own dedicated floor. With fully trained ski technicians Penrose Outdoors can offer professional boot fitting, ski and snowboard servicing and informed guidance on any aspect of snow sports clothing and equipment.
This, thankfully, now lives on in Three Zero on the old A30 at Victoria (near the New Cornwall Services) and is a new and thriving business with all the old expertise, but a new ski and snowboard servicing machine.

The new store
Three Zero 
on the old A30 at Victoria (near the New Cornwall Services)

At the end of the summer 2016 the Truro store on Town Quay was sold to Regatta to facilitate the retirement of the owner Glyn Jones. Chris, Glyns son, and the driving force behind the Ski business has taken on the Ski stock from the Truro store and set up the Three Zero store at Victoria, and continues on the passion, expertise and personality of the Truro business, together with Rohan returning to work with us with a 'shop in shop' bringing the full Rohan range back to Cornwall.

 Our Camping Heritage

Not to leave our camping heritage behind the new ski department transforms in to a large camping and tent showroom for the summer months. A huge range of tents, and awnings are constantly on display allowing customers to demo the tent before they buy. We also offer a demonstration of any tent we stock, we do however ask that an prior appointment is made first so that we can give you our full attention.