Camelford, Cornwall

camelford cornwall towns

Camelford town sits on the River Camel. It is on the edge of Bodmin Moor and 6 miles inland of the North Cornwall coast. The name is nothing to do with camels, but comes from the Cornish "cam pol" meaning "winding river". A small town, formerly a rotten borough, has lots of slate hung houses, and is on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

Camelford was an important river crossing on the old route from Launceston to Wadebridge. It became a free borough in 1259 and, in 1552 got the right to send two members to Parliament, which it continued to do until "rotten boroughs" were abolished in 1832 by the Reform Bill .

North Cornwall Museum and Gallery - A coach house has been converted into a museum of folk items.

Camelford Town Hall is a eyecatching building, complete with a weather-vane in the shape of a golden camel on the roof. It was built as a market house by the Duke of Bedford in 1806. A century later, in 1906 it became a county court. And today is the town's library. The upper story has a separate entrance reached by a double, granite staircase from Chapel Street.

The old town gaol is over the road from the main car park. The long building was used during the Napoleonic Wars to house French prisoners of war (Dartmoor Prison was built for the same reason). In First World War it was a cheese factory.

Bridge House. There are historical references to a bridge at Camelford since 1521. Bridge House was built in the middle of the 17th century as an imposing "gentleman's residence". It has had an extra story added perhaps a hundred years later.

The Mason's Arms was once a coaching inn, with its two large archways, and was on the main coaching route between London and Falmouth. And it is still a pub today. Described in a customers blog as "wonderful old-timey pub" where you can get steak and kidney pie. The building appears to date from about 1600, with a number of extensions over the years.

The Camelford Indian King Arts Centre was once an inn. The name originated in the 18th century, when a Cherokee and his family arrived from North America, somewhat of a novelty in those days. The name later became the Higher King's Arms and then the King's Arms. Today it is an Arts Centre.

A few miles to the east is the Crowdy Reservoir where one can fish for both brown and rainbow trout. Beyond the reservoir is the car park for the start of the walk up to Rough Tor.

Camelford has Slaughterbridge about a mile to its north, the site of a 9th century battle in which legend says King Arthur was mortally wounded. There is a memorial stone on the site

Camelford, Cornwall Genealogical information from Genuki.


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