Camelford

Street Map

[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”600″ height=”200″ title=”” market_place=”GB” shuffle_products=”False” show_border=”False” keywords=”Camelford” browse_node=”” search_index=”Books” /]

Camelford (Cornish: Reskammel) is a town and civil parish in north Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, situated in the River Camel valley northwest of Bodmin Moor. The town is approximately ten miles (16 km) north of Bodmin and is governed by Camelford Town Council.

Lanteglos-by-Camelford is the ecclesiastical parish in which the town is situated.

Camelford is in the North Cornwall parliamentary constituency. Until 1974, the town was the administrative headquarters of Camelford Rural District.

The two main industrial enterprises in the area are the slate quarry at Delabole and the cheese factory at Davidstow but there is a small industrial estate at Highfield.

The A39 road (dubbed ‘Atlantic Highway’) passes directly through the town centre: a bypass has been discussed for many years. Camelford Station was some distance from the town and closed in 1966; the site was subsequently used as a cycling museum.

Due to its name, it has been linked to the legendary Camelot, and even Camlann (also sometimes to Gafulford, the site of a battle which is more likely to have been at Galford in Devon) but historians have been quick to refute these suggestions. Nearby Slaughterbridge is supposed to be the site of a battle. The origin of the name is probably from the original name of the river (Allen) in combination with cam- = crooked and the English ‘ford’, though this is not accepted by all.

The town elected two members to the Unreformed House of Commons: the first MPs sat in the Parliament of 1552. It was later considered a rotten borough and its franchise was abolished in 1832: the article Camelford (UK Parliament constituency) provides more information.

The seal of the borough shows: Arg. a camel passing through a ford of water all proper with legend “Sigillum Vill: de Camelford”.

In July 1988, the water supply to the town and the surrounding area was contaminated when 20 tons of aluminium sulphate was poured into the wrong tank at the nearby Lowermoor Water Treatment Works on Bodmin Moor. An independent inquiry into the incident (the worst of its kind in British history) was started in 2002, and a draft report issued in January 2005, but questions still remain as to the long-term effects on the health of local residents. Michael Meacher, who visited Camelford in his post as environment minister, called the incident and its aftermath, “A most unbelievable scandal”.

The parish church of Camelford is at Lanteglos by Camelford though there is also a Church of St Thomas of Canterbury (opened in 1938) in the town. Langdon (1896) recorded the existence of seven stone crosses in the parish, including three at the rectory (Lanteglos Rectory was converted into a guesthouse in the mid-20th century). There was in medieval times a chapel of St Thomas which probably fell into disuse after the Reformation (it is recorded in 1312). The Rector of Lanteglos is also responsible for the adjacent parish of Advent.

Its position near the highest land in Cornwall makes the climate rather wet. On 8 June 1957, 203 millimetres (8.0 in) of rain fell at Camelford. Roughtor is the nearest of the hills of Bodmin Moor to the town and numerous prehistoric remains can be found nearby as well. The Town Hall was built in 1806, but is now used as a branch public library. By the riverside is Enfield Park; hamlets in the parish include Helstone, Tregoodwell, Valley Truckle, Hendra, Lanteglos, Slaughterbridge, Tramagenna, Treforda and Trevia. The economy depends largely on agriculture and tourism; there is a china clay works at Stannon.

Helstone (or Helston in Trigg) was in the Middle Ages one of the chief manors of the Hundred of Trigg and perhaps in Celtic times the seat of a chieftain. In the Domesday Book this manor was held by Earl Robert of Mortain: there were 2 hides, land for 15 ploughs; the lord had 4 ploughs & 18 serfs; 20 villagers & 18 smallholders had 8 ploughs; 10 acres (40,000 m2) of woodland; 6 square leagues of pasture; five kinds of livestock, in total 195 beasts. The manor of Penmayne was a dependency of this manor. It was one of the 17 Antiqua maneria of the Duchy of Cornwall.

Camelford is the home of the North Cornwall Museum and Gallery which contains paintings and objects of local historical interest. To the northwest at Slaughterbridge is an Arthurian Centre and at nearby Camelford Station is the Cycling Museum (temporarily closed 2010). To the east are the hills of Roughtor and Brown Willy and to the south the old parish churches at Lanteglos and Advent.

For 70 years the town had a station on the North Cornwall Railway. The nearest national rail station is Bodmin Parkway (14 miles). The main road through Camelford is the A39 (Atlantic Highway) and there is a thrice-daily Western Greyhound bus service from Newquay to Exeter via Launceston that serves the town. A tentatively-planned bypass is on hold; traffic problems continue to crowd the town especially during summer weekends.

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

No reviews yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.