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Wadebridge
Wadebridge
(Cornish: Ponswad[1]) is a civil parish and town in north Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The town straddles the River Camel 5 miles (8.0 km) upstream from Padstow.[2] The permanent population is 6,222 (Census 2001), increasing to 7,900 at the 2011 census.[3] There are two electoral wards in the town (East and West). Their total population is 8,272[4][5] Originally known as Wade, it was a dangerous fording point across the river until a bridge was built here in the 15th century, after which the name changed to its present form. The bridge was strategically important during the English Civil War, and Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
went there to take it. Since then, it has been widened twice and refurbished in 1991. Wadebridge
Wadebridge
was served by a railway station between 1834 and 1967; part of the line now forms the Camel Trail, a recreational route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The town used to be a road traffic bottleneck on the A39 road
A39 road
until it was bypassed in 1991, and the main shopping street is now pedestrianised. The town has a secondary school where several notable sports-people were educated. The Royal Cornwall
Cornwall
Show is a three-day agricultural show held at the nearby Royal Cornwall
Cornwall
Showground every June.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early history 1.2 Railway 1.3 Quays 1.4 Eddystone Road 1.5 Historical timeline

2 Government 3 Geography and transport 4 Culture and community 5 Demographics 6 Sport 7 Notable people 8 References 9 Bibliography 10 External links

History[edit] Early history[edit] The initial settlement of Wade (the name of Wadebridge
Wadebridge
before the bridge was built)[6] came about due to a ford in the River Camel (Camel probably meaning "crooked one"[7]). The early crossing had a chapel on each side of the river, "King's" chapel on the north side and "St Michael's" on the south side. People would pray for a safe crossing at one of the chapels before wading across at low tide, once they had made it the other side they would give thanks to God in the other chapel. In 1312 a licence was granted for a market at Wade. Wade was part of the parish of St Breock
St Breock
and the river separated it from the neighbouring parish of Egloshayle. At some time the ford was supplemented by a ferry[8] until the Reverend Thomas Lovibond (the vicar of Egloshayle) became distressed at the number of humans and animals that died during the crossing of the River Camel
River Camel
so he planned the building of a bridge which was completed in 1468. Wade was now known as Wadebridge. When John Leland travelled through Cornwall
Cornwall
in the early 16th century he wrote that the piers were resting on packs of wool.[9] Begun in 1468 and completed in 1485, the bridge was traditionally known as the "Bridge on Wool" because it was reputedly built on wool sacks. In fact, however, it has been proven to be founded directly on the underlying bedrock.[10]

The bridge was a strategic position in the English Civil War
English Civil War
as in 1646 Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
came with 500 Dragoons
Dragoons
and 1,000 horsemen to take the bridge.[11] When the bridge was first completed tolls were charged for its maintenance. In 1853 it was widened from 3 to 5 metres (9.8 to 16.4 ft). A second widening took place in 1952[8] and then in 1963 it was again widened taking it to 12 metres (39 ft). In 1994 the bridge underwent a refurbishment to change the stone in the pavement and to create a cycle track.[citation needed] A serious outbreak of typhoid in 1897 caused by contamination of drinking water led to Wadebridge
Wadebridge
having its own town council as decisive action had to be taken for proper water supplies and disposal of sewage effluent.[citation needed] Railway[edit] The Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway
Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway
from Wadebridge
Wadebridge
to Wenfordbridge with branch lines to Bodmin
Bodmin
and Ruthernbridge[12] was built at a cost of £35,000 following a study commissioned in 1831 by local landowner Sir William Molesworth of Pencarrow. The line was intended to carry sand from the Camel Estuary
Camel Estuary
to inland farms for use as fertiliser. It was opened on 30 September 1834 with the locomotive Camel pulling a train load of 400 passengers (one of the first railways in Britain to carry passengers). When the company ordered its second locomotive it came with a name plate already affixed. It had been named the Elephant as the makers had failed to realise that the first engine had been named after the river and not an animal.[13] The last passenger train left Wadebridge railway station
Wadebridge railway station
in 1967 following railway cutbacks. The railway has been transformed into the Camel Trail, and the Bodmin
Bodmin
and Wenford Railway heritage railway runs on part of the route. Quays[edit] Wadebridge
Wadebridge
was the highest navigable point on the River Camel providing the main trade route before the building of the railway, and coasters would bring goods from Bristol
Bristol
and coal from South Wales. Timber was also imported from the Baltic,[14] while stone from inland was sent to destination throughout England. The first locomotives used on the railway were also imported through the quay, being manufactured by Neath Abbey Ironworks,[13] and the railway initially linked with river traffic well, having been designed to distribute sand from the river to the local farms. This commodity, brought up from Padstow
Padstow
in barges, had previously been taken as far as Michaelstow
Michaelstow
and Blisland.[15] In 1880 there were quays on both sides of the river below the bridge, that on the west bank being served by the railway.[16] There was also a "sand dock" constructed upstream of the bridge at the point where the Treguddick Brook (Polmorla Brook) flows into the River Camel, although this had been filled in by 1895[14] In the 1900s vessels such as the M.V. Florence brought cargos such as slag (for fertiliser), grain and coal. Flour was also a regular cargo brought from Ranks at Avonmouth. However, in the 1950s the river silted badly so that the ketch Agnes was possibly the last vessel to bring cargo to Wadebridge
Wadebridge
in 1955.[14] Eddystone Road[edit] In 1877, after cracks appeared in the rock on which the Eddystone Lighthouse was positioned, a new lighthouse was commissioned from James Nicholas Douglass. Granite quarried from De Lank quarry
De Lank quarry
was brought down to Wadebridge
Wadebridge
where stonemasons dovetailed each segment of stone not only to each other but also to the courses above and below. As each layer was completed and checked to fit with the layer above, it was sent out to the Eddystone rocks by sea. The lighthouse was completed in 1882. This resulted in the road where the masons worked being called Eddystone Road. Historical timeline[edit]

1312 — Licence granted for Wade to hold a market. 1455 — John Leland records a ferry[citation needed] 1460 — Reverend Thomas Lovibond started to organise the building of the bridge. 1646 — Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
and his men descended onto Wadebridge
Wadebridge
to take control of the bridge. 1793 — A shipping canal from Wadebridge
Wadebridge
to Fowey
Fowey
was surveyed. 1834 — The Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway
Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway
took its first passengers. 1845 — The Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway
Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway
became part of the London and South Western Railway 1852 — The Bridge was widened from 10 feet to 11½ feet. 1882 — Work began on replacing the Eddystone lighthouse. 1888 — The town hall (then known as the Molesworth Hall) was completed. 1888 — The Bodmin
Bodmin
and Wadebridge
Wadebridge
railway was connected to the Great Western Railway. 1894 — Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Town Football Club was founded. 1895 — The London and South Western Railway, reached Wadebridge
Wadebridge
from Halwill Junction and Launceston. 1898 — Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Urban District created in April. 1899 — The Bodmin
Bodmin
and Wadebridge
Wadebridge
railway was extended to Padstow. 1930 — The Cinedrome (now the Regal) opened to its first customers. 1955 — Wadebridge Camels
Wadebridge Camels
RFC was founded. 1960 — Wadebridge
Wadebridge
was chosen as the permanent site of the Royal Cornwall
Cornwall
Agricultural Show. 1963 — The bridge was widened from 11½ feet to 39 feet. 1967 — The railway line was closed to passengers. 1991 — The Challenge Bridge was completed. 1993 — The Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Bypass was completed.

Government[edit] Wadebridge
Wadebridge
is in the constituency of North Cornwall
Cornwall
which is currently held by the Conservative MP Scott Mann. The main offices of the former North Cornwall
Cornwall
District Council were at Trenant Road in the town. Historically Wadebridge
Wadebridge
was part of St Columb Rural District Council until the creation of Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Urban District Council in April 1898.[14] Geography and transport[edit] The town straddles the River Camel
River Camel
5 miles (8.0 km) upstream from Padstow[2] the town centre being on the left bank of the river. For many years Wadebridge
Wadebridge
was a traffic-congested town (through which the route of the A39 trunk road passed) but in 1991 the Wadebridge bypass was opened together with the Egloshayle
Egloshayle
bypass causing the two settlements to regain much of their former charm. The main shopping street in Wadebridge
Wadebridge
(Molesworth Street) has subsequently been pedestrianized through construction of an inner link road, allowing traffic-free shopping. On St Swithin's day 1965 there was a flood in Wadebridge
Wadebridge
town after five and a half inches of rain fell in four and a half hours around high tide. The Swan Hotel on The Platt was flooded to a depth of one and a half feet.[15] Culture and community[edit]

The Challenge Bridge

The Molesworth Arms is one of the oldest Inns in Wadebridge. Previously known as The Fox, The King's Arms and The Fountain, this coaching Inn got its current name in 1817. Since 2014 the first of the annual events in and around Wadebridge
Wadebridge
has been the MayPlay festival, a weekend of free children's activities. The Royal Cornwall
Cornwall
Agricultural Show is held at the Royal Cornwall Showground, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of Wadebridge
Wadebridge
over three days in early June each year. The show began in 1793 at Bodmin
Bodmin
and was then held every year in East and West Cornwall
Cornwall
alternately until 1960 when it came to its present site. The showground, run by the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, is used for many different functions from Scout Jamborees to point-to-point horse racing. The Big Lunch, organised by the local chamber of commerce, is a free street party in the pedestrianised part of Molesworth St in the centre of Wadebridge, where around 500–750 people get together to share food, chat, and enjoy music and other entertainment. The idea grew out of a project by the Eden Project, and was started by a former local councillor, Harriet Wild. In 2012 it also served as a celebration of the Queen's Jubilee. Later in June, the Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Lions organise a Beer Festival, with brews from across Cornwall, and plenty of live music. July sees the Rock Oyster Festival on fields just outside the town on the Camel River. Oysters are, of course, on the menu, along with bands from the local area, the South West and further afield. Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Carnival is held annually in August, with a Carnival Queen. In August there is the Eglos Craft Fayre at Egloshayle
Egloshayle
Church, and the Cornwall
Cornwall
Folk Festival[17], one of the UK's longest-running folk festivals started in 1973, is held over the Bank Holiday. The likes of folk stars such as Dougie Maclean, Martyn Carthy and Cara Dillon rub shoulders with Cornish bands. The "musician's musician" Wiz Jones and father of the Lakeman clan Geoff Lakeman are the festival's patrons. Depending on the tides, the Camel River Festival is held around August or September. The main attraction is a set of raft races on the river, with bar, food, stalls and more live music. In October, The Bikelights procession through the town centre showcases decorated bicycles and involves many youngsters. In November the Prime Stock Show and the Garden Produce Association and Chrysanthemum Show are held. A footbridge called the Challenge Bridge links the Egloshayle
Egloshayle
playing fields to the Jubilee fields on the other side of the river. The bridge was constructed in 1991 by Anneka Rice
Anneka Rice
and her team for the TV series "Challenge Anneka". Locally, the bridge is known as Anneka's Bridge, but its real name is the Bailey Bridge. The newspaper is a local edition of the weekly Cornish Guardian. The town is twinned with Langueux
Langueux
(Langaeg) in Brittany, France.[18] In April 2013 Wadebridge
Wadebridge
was short-listed as one of Britain's top eco-towns[19] and is home to Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network a grass roots enterprise aiming to make the town the first solar powered and renewable energy powered town in the UK.[20] Demographics[edit] The town has two primary schools which have academy status, Wadebridge Primary Academy which OfSTED graded as a ‘GOOD’ school in November 2012 and St. Breock Primary School. There is also a Secondary School, Wadebridge School
Wadebridge School
which has a sixth form. There are two health care practices: the Wadebridge
Wadebridge
and Camel Estuary Practice and the Bridge Medical Centre. There has been a group practice in Wadebridge
Wadebridge
since the early 20th century; many of the early doctors had their surgeries operating from their homes. In the 1901 census the population of Wadebridge
Wadebridge
was 3470,[14] while in 2001 the population was 6222[21] Sport[edit] Wadebridge
Wadebridge
is home to sporting clubs including Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Town Football Club who play at Bodieve park, Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Camels, who play at the Molesworth Field in Egloshayle, and Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Cricket Club, whose main ground has been in Egloshayle
Egloshayle
Park since the 1950s. The town has a leisure centre with a programme of sports and pursuits including Cornish wrestling. The Camel estuary offers a range of water sports, including sailing, water skiing, windsurfing, surfing and kite surfing. Golf courses close by include Trevose
Trevose
and Saint Enodoc and St Kew. Notable people[edit] See also: Category:People from Wadebridge The gentleman scientist and surgeon Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, who invented the Bude-Light, lived in Wadebridge
Wadebridge
from 1814 to 1820. A street (Goldsworthy Way) has been named after him. Francis Hurdon (1834–1914), a prominent figure in Canadian politics, was educated in the town. In media, Michael White, journalist, associate editor and former political editor of The Guardian was born here in 1945.[22] Andrew Ridgeley, member of the pop music duo, Wham!
Wham!
and his partner Keren Woodward, from the girl band Bananarama, live in a converted farmhouse[23] near the town.[citation needed] Sergeant Steven Roberts, the first soldier to die in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, was born in Wadebridge.[24] In sport, Olly Barkley, the England
England
rugby union international player, was raised in the town, as was Michaela Breeze, the Commonwealth weightlifting champion. Both were educated at Wadebridge
Wadebridge
School, as was Annabel Vernon, the 2007 World Rowing Champion Women's Quad Sculls. References[edit]

^ "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.  ^ a b Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 200 Newquay
Newquay
& Bodmin ISBN 978-0-319-22938-5 ^ "Town population 2011". Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.  ^ " Wadebridge
Wadebridge
West population 2011". Retrieved 15 February 2015.  ^ " Wadebridge
Wadebridge
east population 2011". Retrieved 15 February 2015.  ^ Mills, A. D. (1996). The Popular Dictionary of English Place-Names. Parragon Book Service Ltd and Magpie Books. p. 342. ISBN 0-7525-1851-8.  ^ Mills, A. D. (1996). The Popular Dictionary of English Place-Names. Parragon Book Service Ltd and Magpie Books. p. 65. ISBN 0-7525-1851-8.  ^ a b Kentley, Eric. Cornwall's Bridge & Viaduct Heritage. Twelveheads Heritage. Truro: Twelveheads Press. ISBN 090629458-4.  ^ Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall; 2nd ed., revised by Enid Radcliffe. Harmondsworth: Penguinl p. 238 ^ Wadebridge
Wadebridge
and the Bridge on Wool at cornishlight.co.uk ^ Wadebridge ^ Fairclough, Tony (1970). The Story of Cornwall's Railways. Truro: Tor Mark Press. p. 12.  ^ a b Fairclough, Tony; Alan, Wills (1979). Southern Branch Line special No. 1: Bodmin
Bodmin
and Wadebridge
Wadebridge
1834–1978. Truro: D Bradford Barton. ISBN 0 85153 343 4.  ^ a b c d e Wroe, David (1995). An Illustrated History of the North Cornwall
Cornwall
Railway. Caernarfon: Irwell Press. ISBN 1-871608-63-5.  ^ a b Duxbury, Brenda; Williams, Michael (1987). The River Camel. St Teath: Bossiney Books. ISBN 0 948158 26 3.  ^ Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (1996). Branch Lines Around Bodmin. Midhurst: MIddleton Press. ISBN 1 873793 83 9.  ^ http://www.CornwallFolkFestival.com ^ "Twinning". Retrieved 25 May 2009.  ^ " Wadebridge
Wadebridge
short-listed as top eco-towns West Country (W) - ITV News". itv.com. 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013.  ^ "Cornish town aims to be UK's first to adopt solar power - struggle becomes YouTube series - Environment". The Independent. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.  ^ "Table KS01 Usual resident population". Office for National Statistics. 17 June 2004. Retrieved 5 December 2015.  ^ "Michael White's political blog: February 7". The Guardian. London. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2010.  ^ Thomas, Liz (28 September 2009). " Wham!
Wham!
star Andrew Ridgeley succumbs to the ageing process". Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 April 2012.  ^ "BBC NEWS England
England
Bradford Kit delays led to soldier's death". BBC News. London: BBC. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 

Bibliography[edit]

Tuthill, Peter (2004) A Brief History of Wadebridge History of Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Town and Police; by Peter Tuthill

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wadebridge.

Wadebridge
Wadebridge
travel guide from Wikivoyage Wadebridge
Wadebridge
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Wadebridge
Wadebridge
Town Council Cornwall
Cornwall
Record Office Online Catalogue for Wadebridge

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