The historic market town of Lostwithiel was once one of the most important towns in Cornwall and at the centre of the thriving tin trade.Overshadowed by the ruins of Restormel Castle it is home to some fascinating buildings. The local museum shows several exhibits illustrating the development of the town.Throughout the 14th Century Lostwithiel was the Capital of Cornwall administering both county and stannary (relating to tin) affairs from the Shire Hall. During the 14th Century the river began to silt up and it became non navigable to sea-going ships. Lostwithiel gradually lost its shipping to Fowey and sent tin and other goods down-river in boats of shallower draught. As miners moved West following new discoveries of tin, Lostwithiel developed its trade in weaving, tanning, pottery and pewter.In !644 Lostwithiel and the Fowey peninsular were occupied by 10,000 parlimentary soldiers, followed by King Charles 1 and his army who with others besieged the area. The King stayed at Boconnoc set a couple of miles East and the house is worth a visit having undergone substantial renovation in recent years.In the 18th Century the town became a pocket borough for the Pitts then the Edgcumbes and the Edgcumbes built several substantial properties in the town including Edgcumbe House, the Guildhall with the corn exchange beneath and the old Grammar School.During the Early 19th century iron was found in the hills north of Lostwithiel, there then followed rapid expansion of the town and during this period Coulson park - now a very pleasant riverside walk was a hive of heavy noisy activity as ore was transferred to barges for shipping down river. The river was used commercially into the 20th Century . The Great Western Railway came through in 1859 and the maintenance works designed by I.K. Brunel were built in the town.Geranium cottage can be traced back to about this period when in 1880 a Mr Thomas Parsons came to Lostwithiel to work on the Railway, moved into Geranium Cottage, eventually becoming Station Master.