CAMBORNE (Cornish : Kammbronn) is a town in west
Cornwall , England.
The population at the 2011 Census was 20,845. The northern edge
of the parish includes a section of the
South West Coast Path ,
Hell\'s Mouth and Deadman's Cove.
Camborne was formerly one of the richest tin mining areas in the
world and home to the
Camborne School of Mines .
* 1 Geography
* 2 History
* 2.1 Mining
* 2.1.1 Mining related
Camborne School of Mines
* 2.2 Steam locomotion
* 4 Governance
* 4.1 Parliamentary representation
* 4.2 Local government
* 4.2.1 Town Council
* 5 Church history
* 6 Transport
* 7 Sport
* 8 Economy
* 8.2 Criticism of the Regional Development Agency
* 9 Music
* 10 Education
* 11 Fiction
* 12 Twinning
* 13 See also
* 14 References
* 15 External links
Camborne is in the western part of the largest urban and industrial
Cornwall with the town of
Redruth 3 miles (4.8 km) to the
east. It is the ecclesiastical centre of a large civil parish and has
a town council . Camborne-
Redruth is on the northern side of the Carn
Carnmenellis granite upland which slopes northwards to the sea.
The two towns are linked by the A3047 road which was turnpiked in 1839
and the villages along the road (from the west) were Roskear,
Tuckingmill, Pool and Illogan. Running north-south are a number of
small streams with narrow river valleys which have been deeply-cut
following centuries of tin streaming and other industrial processes.
An example is the Red River valley which crosses the A3047 at
Tuckingmill. To the north, the
A30 (road) forms a boundary between the
urban area and the agricultural land on the other side.
The first mention of the medieval
Camborne churchtown is in 1181
although in 1931 the ruins of a probable Romano-British villa were
found at Magor Farm, Illogan, near Camborne, and excavated that year
under the guidance of the Royal Institution of
Cornwall . It is the
Roman villa to be found in the whole of Cornwall. There are also
early Christian sites such as an inscribed altar stone, (now in the
Church of St Martin and
St Meriadoc ), and dated to the tenth or
eleventh centuries, which attests to the existence of a settlement
then. Langdon (1896) records seven stone crosses in the parish of
which two are at Pendarves. By the late
Middle Ages manorial holdings
developed in the surrounding area, and church-paths linked the
churchtown to the outlying hamlets. Cornish medieval mystery plays
were held in a playing place and the chuchyard is said to have had a
pilgrimage chapel and holy well.
John Norden visited in 1584 and
Camborne as ″A churche standinge among the barrayne
hills'″. At this time there would have been moors and rough grazing
as well as small fields in the surrounding countryside.
Camborne had rights to hold markets and three fairs a year
which may be an indication of tin mining in the area; Camborne's was
inland and in an unfavourable location for trading. Mining is first
recorded locally in the 1400s with early exploitation of the small
streams cutting through the mineralised area and from shallow mines
Adit mining was first recorded in the 16th-century.
A sign of increasing industrial activity and increasing industrial
population is the first chapel built in 1806 and the development of a
Methodist community. In 1823 the population was around 2,000 and
in 1841 it was 4,377, with 75 smiths recorded and over two-thirds of
the working population employed in the mining industry. In the
expanding town gasworks were opened in 1834, the
Hayle Railway was
built (1834–37) and Holmans opened a small foundry in 1839.
View east from
Dolcoath Mine , 1893
Camborne is best known as a centre for the former Cornish tin and
copper mining industry, having its working heyday during the later
18th and early 19th centuries.
Camborne was just a village until
transformed by the mining boom which began in the late eighteenth
century and saw the
Redruth district become the richest
mining area in the world. Although a considerable number of ruinous
stacks and engine houses remain, they cannot begin to convey the
scenes of 150 years ago when scores of mines transfigured the
landscape. Harriets Pumping Engine house, part of
Dolcoath Mine ,
built in 1860
Dolcoath Mine , (English: Old Ground Mine), the 'Queen of Cornish
Mines' was, at a depth of 3,500 feet (1,067 m), for many years the
deepest mine in the world, not to mention one of the oldest before its
closure in 1921. The last working tin mine in Europe,
South Crofty ,
which closed in 1998, is also to be found in Camborne.
Holmans Rock Drill from 1955 (taken from the 55 vol. of CSM
Apart from the mines themselves,
Camborne was also home to many
important related industries, including the once world-renowned
Holman Bros Ltd (
CompAir ). Holmans, a family business
founded in 1801, was for generations, Camborne's, and indeed
Cornwall's largest manufacturer of industrial equipment, even making
Sten submachine gun for a stint during the Second World War
Holman Projector was used by the Royal Navy. At its height
Holmans was spread over three sites within Camborne, employing some
three and half thousand men. Despite Britain's industrial decline ,
Camborne factory finally closed in 2001. On the
afternoon of Tuesday 5 December 2006, a wall of the Holmans factory
was leaning towards the railway line, as a result the line west of
Truro was closed for the afternoon and night and disrupting railway
services, as it was feared the wall could collapse onto the mainline,
part of the derelict factory was later demolished that night.
A modest quantity of
South Crofty tin was purchased by a local
enterprise and this gradually dwindling stock is used to make
specialist tin jewellery, branded as the
South Crofty Collection. Tin
originally mined at
South Crofty was used to form the bronze medals
awarded in the 2012 London Olympics
Camborne School Of Mines
Because of the prior importance of metal mining to the Cornish
Camborne School of Mines (CSM) developed as the only
specialist hard rock education establishment in the United Kingdom,
Royal School of Mines was established in 1851. Plans for the
school were laid out in 1829, leading to the current school in 1888.
It now forms part of the
University of Exeter
University of Exeter ; it relocated to the
University's Tremough campus (now known as
Penryn Campus ) in 2004.
CSM graduates work in the mining industry all over the world. It has a
fine collection of minerals in its museum of geology.
Camborne Public Library, with
Richard Trevithick 's statue in
On Christmas Eve 1801, the
Puffing Devil – a steam-powered road
locomotive built by
Richard Trevithick – made its
Camborne Hill in Cornwall. It was the world's first
self-propelled passenger carrying vehicle. The events have been turned
into a local song: Going up
Camborne Hill, coming down, Going up
Camborne Hill, coming down, The horses stood still, The wheels turn
around, Going up
Camborne Hill, coming down.
Trevithick was born in Penponds, in 1771, a miner's son, and was
Camborne School. His achievements (not to mention steam
power, mining, and Cornish culture as a whole) are celebrated every
last Saturday of April as the town's 'Trevithick Day ', and by his
statue standing outside
Camborne public library.
Cornish language was the language of the area around Camborne
until the beginning of the 18th century and it is recorded that
everyone living west of
Truro spoke Cornish in 1644. Nicholas Boson
wrote that Cornish was spoken as far east as
Redruth and Falmouth
circa 1700. In 1700 the pioneering Celtic linguist
Edward Lhuyd came
Cornwall to study the language and visited Camborne, detailing many
aspects of the parish.
One of the most important surviving works of medieval Cornish
Beunans Meriasek , the Life of
St Meriadoc the patron
saint of Camborne. In the 19th century the nickname for Camborne
people was Mera-jacks, or Merry-geeks, and those who washed in St
Meriasek's well were called Merrasicks, Merrasickers, Moragicks or
In the 20th century several Cornish words and phrases were noted as
still in use amongst the inhabitants of Camborne. These include taw
tavas (silent tongue) and allycumpoester (all in order).
Although a limited amount of Cornish was taught in some schools in
Cornwall during the 19th and early 20th centuries the first
school to properly dedicate itself to teaching revived Cornish was the
Mount Pleasant House school run by
E. G. Retallack Hooper in the post
second world war period. By 1984 Cornish was being taught in Troon
Camborne primary schools as well as
Camborne secondary school and
there was a
Cornish language playgroup. In 2000 Roskear and Weeth
schools were teaching Cornish.
2011 UK census , although there was no specific Cornish
language question, thirty people living in the parish of Camborne
declared that Cornish was their main language at home, thirteen in
Troon and Beacon.
Redruth constituency was created for the 2010
general election , following a review of parliamentary representation
Cornwall by the Boundary Commission for
England , which increased
the number of seats in the county from five to six. It is primarily a
successor to the former Falmouth and
United Kingdom general election, 2015 the results were:
George Eustice (Conservative) 18,452 40.3% +2.6%
* Michael Foster (Labour) 11,448 25.0% +8.6%
* Bob Smith (UKIP) 6,776 14.8% +9.7%
Julia Goldsworthy (Liberal Democrat) 5,687 12.4% -25.0%
* Green 2,608 5.7% +4.3%
Loveday Jenkin (Mebyon Kernow) 897 2.0% +0.1%
Camborne Local Board was established in 1873; the seal was a mine
shaft and engine house depicted with the date 1873 and the legend "The
Local Board for the District of Camborne". This was replaced by the
Camborne Urban District in 1895 which built the municipal buildings
and fire station in 1903. The uban district was merged with that of
Redruth and parts of
Redruth Rural District and
Helston Rural District
(both of which were being abolished) in 1934 to form the
Redruth Urban District . The urban district persisted until
it was merged into the
Kerrier district of
Cornwall under the Local
Government Act 1972 .
The composition of
Camborne Town Council as of 2015:
Camborne Parish Church Two ancient crosses in the grounds
Camborne Parish Church
Camborne's parish church is dedicated to St Martin and
St Meriadoc :
it is entirely of granite, of 15th-century date, but incorporating
earlier structural features, including a Norman chevron stone in the
west wall of the north aisle found in 2009 and is listed Grade I. St
Martin was added to the original dedication to
St Meriadoc in the
15th-century. There is a western tower about 60 feet high containing
eight bells (with a clock before 1882) and the aisles are identical in
design: the building was gutted and restored in 1861-1862 and an outer
south aisle was added in 1878–1879 to a design by James Piers St
Aubyn . The church was re-opened on 7 August 1879 by Edward Benson ,
the Bishop of
An inscribed altar stone found at Chapel Ia, Troon (now set up as the
Lady Chapel altar in the parish church), and dated to the tenth or
eleventh centuries, attests to the existence of a settlement then. It
is inscribed 'Leuiut iusit hec altare pro anima sua'. The chapel of St
Ia was recorded in 1429 and a holy well was nearby. The site was
called Fenton-ear (i.e. the well of Ia). The stone is very similar to
one now used as the mensa of the Lady Chapel altar at Treslothan
Parish Church, formerly used from c1841 to 1955 as the base for a
sundial in the grounds of Pendarves House .
Camborne churchyard contains a number of crosses collected from
nearby sites: the finest is one found in a well at Crane in 1896 but
already known from
William Borlase 's account of it when it was at
Fenton-ear. Arthur Langdon (1896) records six crosses in the parish,
including two at Pendarves , two at Trevu and one outside the
Two other chapels are known to have existed in the medieval period:
one not far from the parish church was dedicated to Our Lady and St
Anne and one at Menadarva (derived from Merther-Derwa) was one of
Celtic origin dedicated to St Derwa, Virgin, but mentioned in 1429.
The A30 trunk road now by-passes the Town around its northern edge.
The old A30 through the Town has become the A3047. There is a small
bus station halfway along and to the south of Trelowarren Street (the
main high street), which has featured in tales by Cornish comedian
The railway station is a half-mile south from the town centre, with a
level crossing and footbridge at its eastern end.
used to be famous for its short platforms, which meant that passengers
on main line services between London and
Penzance could only board and
alight from certain carriages. Partly because of this not all services
stopped at Camborne, preferring nearby
Redruth station (which is also
First Great Western
First Great Western (FGW) trains as a short station stop).
The platforms have been upgraded but the memory lives on, again partly
in stories by the comedian Jethro.
Camborne station is served by
CrossCountry and FGW trains.
Camborne was, for a quarter of a century, one of the termini of
Cornwall\'s only tram service . This system was opened in November
1902 and ran a regular service to
Redruth until it closed in September
Camborne RFC were established in 1878 and are one of the most famous
clubs in Cornwall, having produced numerous
Cornwall players over the
years. In 1987
Camborne were the highest placed Cornish club in the
newly formed National leagues when they entered at 1987–88 Courage
Area League South (equivalent to
National League 2 South today).
Camborne is one of the grounds used by the
Cornish rugby team and has
hosted many notable international sides including the
New Zealand 'All
Blacks ' in 1905, 1924 and 1953, Australia in 1908, 1947 and 1967,
South Africa 1960, United States 1977 and numerous other touring sides
such as the
South African Barbarians and Canterbury (NZ) . Since 2006
it was agreed to ground share the Recreation Ground with local
Division One team the
Cornish Pirates and the ground has undergone
major refurbishment including a new stand for the 2007–08 and
2008–09 seasons. This arrangement has now ceased as of 2012 season
Penzance now play at the
Mennaye Field in
Notable local rugby players include
Josh Matavesi 18-year-old debut
for Fiji against Scotland in 2010, his younger brother Sam, debut
against Canada in 2013, Roger Arthur , Llanelli and Wales and Andy
Reed , Camborne, Bath , and British Lions Luke Charteris
Template:Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke Charteris Wales ].
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The region of Camborne, Pool and
Redruth district is currently at the
centre of a £150 million redevelopment, which hopes to reverse social
and economic decline in this former industrial heartland.
CPR Regeneration (CPRR), one of the government's 19 Urban
Regeneration Companies (URCs) is overseeing a large urban renewal
programme in the country on behalf of a range of partners including
Cornwall Council , the South West of
England Regional Development
Agency (SWERDA) and the
Homes and Communities Agency . CPRR is tasked
with driving the regeneration of former industrial land, attracting
businesses and helping them create sustainable jobs; supporting local
business growth ambitions and fostering employment growth through
increasing the skills of those in and out of work. To date, as well as
working on supporting businesses in the area—especially those in the
town centres, CPRR has been engaged in the process of assembling
sites, securing agreements with developers and doing enabling works
for major projects such as the east-west link road between
A challenge faced by CPRR has been to work collaboratively with the
owners of the
South Crofty mine (which occupies a central position in
the Pool regeneration area) to both allow mine development operations
to continue and secure the re-development of the wider area around the
mine. Stories did appear in the press regarding alleged illegal
in-fill of ventilation shafts by CPRR. The truth—that English
Partnerships had found old unmarked shafts on development sites which
were in danger of collapse and made them good with concrete caps
(removable if needed later by the mine company)--was lost. CPRR has
continued to advance major projects in the area, such as a range of
housing and infrastructure schemes, and will help SWERDA and the Homes
and Communities Agency bring these forward shortly. Some of the work
of the URC is becoming apparent, with works on the Pool Innovation
Centre and the Trevenson Road area both advancing well.
CRITICISM OF THE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Local MPs have criticised SWERDA for interfering in the private
sector, and said there may be ulterior motives. Andrew George , MP for
St Ives , said, "The RDA’s antics are at odds with the claims made
to me by the Minister in Parliament and in a letter that the RDA 'will
be informed by the outcome of public consultation. I am astounded that
a public body can be acting in such a predatory manner. The RDA seems
to want to jump in where it is not wanted and yet it doesn’t
intervene where it is. There are places like the Union Hotel in
Penzance where the owner and local applicants would be grateful if the
RDA were able to step in and purchase but the RDA says that it must be
market tested first. Yet when they are faced with a Mine where the
owners want to do something constructive, the RDA seem keen to
intervene. The public sector has a role in supporting the private
sector when projects are not able to be self sustaining. Public money
and resources should not be used to undermine the efforts of the
Camborne Town Band has been contesting music records from the late
19th century until the present day. It has performed on
BBC Radio and
BBC Television .
Holman Climax Male Voice Choir , based in Camborne, was formed in
1940 by Edgar S. Kessell MBE (1910–1981).
Ben Salfield the lutenist lives just outside of the town.
A Church of
England National School was built in College Street in
1844 (replaced by a newer building further up the street towards the
parish church in 1896-now demolished); in the following year a school
for four hundred boys was opened in the Centenary
Methodist Chapel and
in 1847 the Basset Road British (Methodist) School was opened. A
School of Mines started in 1872 with the
Basset family paying for
chemistry laboratories. The town now has a number of schools covering
all age ranges, notably the main secondary school,
and International Academy , and a campus of
Cornwall College .
Alan M. Kent 's 2005 novel Proper job, Charlie Curnow ! is set in and
around the Trelawney Estate, a fictional housing estate based on the
Grenville Estate, Troon.
Camborne is twinned with two places: Santez-Anna-Wened in Brittany,
Pachuca, Hidalgo in Mexico.
Camborne was twinned with
Pachuca at a ceremony in Mexico on 3 July 2008.
The town name inspired the name of Camborne,
New Zealand , a seaside
Porirua City developed by an investment company headed by an
Arthur Cornish. Most of its street names are of Cornish origin.
* Geography portal
* ^ "List of Place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel" (PDF).
Cornish Language Partnership. May 2014. Archived from the original
(PDF) on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
* ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Camborne". Encyclopædia
Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
* ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN
* ^ Office for National Statistics, Key Figures for 2011 Census:
Key Statistics, Area:
* ^ "Data from the 2011 Census (Office for National Statistics)".
Cornwall Council. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
* ^ Cornwall; Explore Britain
* ^ OS Explorer Map 104.
Redruth & St Agnes (Map) (B2 ed.).
Southampton: Ordnance Survey. 2013. ISBN 978 0 319 24034 2 .
* ^ A B C D E F G Cahill, Nick J (2002).
Redruth Area). Truro:
Cornwall County Council.
* ^ B.H. St. J. O'Neil, "
Roman villa in Cornwall", Antiquity 5
(1931), pp .494–5, with photographs
* ^ A B See the discussion and bibliography in Elisabeth Okasha,
Corpus of early Christian inscribed stones of South-west Britain
(Leicester: University Press, 1993), pp.82–84.
* ^ Cornish tin to form part of Olympic medal Western Morning News
Thursday, 15 March 2012
* ^ BBC
Cornwall – Nature –
* ^ A B Spriggs, Matthew (2003). "Where Cornish was spoken and
when: a provisional synthesis". Cornish Studies. Second Series (11):
* ^ Williams, Derek R. (1993). Prying into Every Hole and Corner:
Edward Lhuyd in
Cornwall in 1700. Dyllansow Truran. p. 15.
* ^ A B C Ellis, Peter Berresford (1974). The Cornish Language and
its Literature. London: Routledge & kegan Paul Ltd.
* ^ Ball, Martin John (1990). Celtic Linguistics. John Benjamins
Publishing. p. 255. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
* ^ Nance, Robert Morton (1923). Glossary of Celtic Words in
Cornish Dialect. Falmouth: Royal
Cornwall Polytechnic Society.
* ^ O'Néill, Diarmuid (2005). Rebuilding the Celtic Languages:
Reversing Language Shift in the Celtic Countries. Y Lolfa.
* ^ UK 2011 Census
* ^ "Final recommendations for Parliamentary constituencies in the
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly". Boundary Commission for
England . 9 January 2005. Archived from the original on 2 November
2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
* ^ Pascoe, W. H. (1979). A Cornish Armory. Padstow, Cornwall:
Lodenek Press. p. 132. ISBN 0-902899-76-7 .
* ^ "List of Councillors".
Camborne Town Council. Retrieved 21
* ^ Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall, 2nd ed., revised by Enid
Radcliffe. Penguin Books; pp. 49–50
* ^ "
Camborne Church Enlarged and Re-Opened". The Cornishman (57).
14 August 1879. p. 7.
* ^ A B Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 71
* ^ Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: Joseph
* ^ Pirates groundshare at
Camborne RFC starts in 2006
* ^ "Plymouth Albion forward Sam Matavesi makes Fiji debut". BBC
Sport. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
* ^ "Sam Matavesi player profile". Retrieved 23 October 2013.
Camborne twinned with Pachuca, Mexico Archived 18 October 2015
Wayback Machine .
Wikimedia Commons has