Camborne (Cornish: Kammbronn) is a town in west Cornwall, United
Kingdom. 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.
3.1.1 Mining related
Camborne School of Mines
3.2 Steam locomotion
4 Cornish language
5.1 Parliamentary representation
5.2 Local government
5.2.1 Town Council
6 Church history
9.1 CPR Regeneration
9.2 Criticism of the Regional Development Agency
15 See also
17 External links
Kammbronn is Cornish for 'crooked hill'. The word 'kamm', crooked,
is the same in the Breton language, and the Welsh, Gaelic and Irish
Gaelic word is 'kam',. 'Hill' in Welsh is 'Bryn'.
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
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 10th or
11th 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 local
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
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 18th 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 Magazine)
Apart from the mines themselves,
Camborne was also home to many
important related industries, including the once world-renowned
Holman Bros Ltd
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
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
Camborne School of Mines (CSM) developed as the only
specialist hard rock education establishment in the United Kingdom,
Royal School of Mines
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; it moved 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 front
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:
Camborne Hill, coming down,
Camborne Hill, coming down,
The horses stood still,
The wheels turn around,
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
Falmouth circa 1700. In 1700 the pioneering Celtic linguist Edward
Lhuyd came to
Cornwall to study the language and visited Camborne,
detailing many aspects of the parish.
One of the most important surviving works of medieval Cornish
literature is 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
Second World War
Second World War period. By 1984 Cornish was being taught in
Camborne primary schools as well as
school and there was a
Cornish language playgroup. In 2000 Roskear and
Weeth schools were teaching Cornish.
In the 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
Redruth constituency was created for the 2010 general
election, following a review of parliamentary representation in
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
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
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 of
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 1861-62 and an outer
south aisle was added in 1878–79 to a design by James Piers St
Aubyn. The church was re-opened on 7 August 1879 by Edward Benson,
the Bishop of Truro.
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 10th or 11th
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 c.1841 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 Institute.
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
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.
station used to be famous for its short platforms, which meant that
passengers on main line services between London and
only board and alight from certain carriages. Partly because of this
not all services stopped at Camborne, preferring nearby Redruth
railway station (which is also classed by
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 railway station
Camborne railway 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
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
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
Penzance now play at the
Mennaye Field in Penzance.
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 Scotland British Lions Luke Charteris,
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The region of Camborne, Pool and
Redruth district is currently[when?]
at the centre of a £150 million redevelopment, which hopes to reverse
social and economic decline in this former industrial
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
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
Redruth and Camborne.
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
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
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
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 private sector".[citation
Camborne Town Band has been contesting music records from the late
19th century until the present day. It has performed on
BBC Radio and
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, Camborne
Science and International Academy, and a campus of
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.
Zoie Palmer was born in Camborme.
UK Met Office
UK Met Office operate an Upper Air Station in Camborne.
^ "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
^ Office for National Statistics, Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key
^ "Data from the 2011 Census (Office for National Statistics)".
Cornwall Council. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
^ Cornwall; Explore Britain
^ from Kpedia article on Camborne.
^ > Chambers dictionary
^ 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).
Cornwall Industrial Settlements
Redruth Area). Truro:
^ 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
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
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 November
^ 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 Pollard
^ 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 at
the Wayback Machine.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Camborne.
Camborne at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Camborne Town Council – Information on the town
Cornwall Record Office Online Catalogue for Camborne
Camborne Town Website - a website about a real Cornish town. Find out
what's on, events, shops and services and the local history.
Ceremonial county of Cornwall
Council of the Isles of Scilly
St Columb Major
St Just in Penwith
See also: List of civil parishes in Cornwall
Population of major settlements
Places of interest
Outline of Cornwall
Index of Cornwal