Camelford Town

The Camelot of legend, Camelford is the smallest town in N.Cornwall. It is regarded as a local centre for the beautiful coastal and rural landscape from St Juliot to Trebarwith and inland to the Moor. It plays an important role in providing services and facilities to the surrounding dispersed rural communities. There are several shops and pubs in the lower part of town and although there is no longer a rail link, there are daily buses to Wadebridge, Bude, Truro, Exeter and Launceston and to Bodmin and district.Camelford hosts a comprehensive school (Sir James Smith’s School) that draws children from a wide area and the award-winning North Cornwall Museum whose subject matter also covers a wide area including Bodmin Moor. Camelford holds an important central position. The town contains a good range of facilities, and therefore provides an important service and employment centre for a large geographical area, albeit a sparsely populated one. The future planning approach will reinforce this role by providing for further development during the plan period. It is indeed a small town providing a wide range of facilities for its hinterland – solicitor, accountant, banks, estate agents, shops, pubs, chapels, schools, doctors’ surgery,
ambulance and police stations, modern sports centre with swimming pool, library, museum and gallery, Art Gallery and other cultural and intellectual activities. Camelford’s location which offers convenient access to both Bodmin Moor and the North Cornwall coast means it attracts a significant number of visitors’. Tourist appeal at nearby sites – golf course, sports centre and swimming pool, North Cornwall Museum, the Cycling Museum and Crowdy Reservoir – used for water sports. The Countryman Hotel is on the north-east side of town.Camelford is, as its name suggests, beside a crossing point on the principal river of this district. The Camel rises just four kilometres to the north, but is already a fairly strong water body set in a steep-sided valley with a narrow floor by the time it reaches the town. Winds whipping in off the sea and whistling over the fine quarrying village of Delabole are rarely experienced as such bitter beasts by the citizens of nicely sheltered Camelford. While they may therefore be warmer, the people receive a little less sunshine (being in a valley) and have to climb out of the old settlement to its later extensions to experience the extensive and inspiring views over the north Cornish countryside. Roughtor and Brown Willy, the two great tor-topped hills of Bodmin Moor dominate
the south-east and equally exposed but more gently rolling hills and downs run off to the north and east towards the heights of Condolden and Davidstow. The Camel’s deep wooded valley curves away to the south on its long circuitous course to Nanstallon, Wadebridge and Padstow and finally to the sea at Stepper point. The historic landscape around Camelford is predominantly anciently enclosed land, farmland first enclosed in later prehistory, reorganised in the medieval period into distinctively Cornish fields, many reflecting their former strippy shapes, in the later medieval and post-medieval periods. The upland rough ground of Bodmin moor has been pushed away to the south east by 19th century intakes on the higher parts of Advent P

arish, farms like Lowermoor, Edenvale, Poldue and Roughtor. Indeed the moor only begins in the snesse of being open rough grassland at Roughtor ford. From her the mountain of Roughtor rears up, its rocky mane shaking stream,s of stones down the grassy slopes, stones that resolve themselves into ruined prehistoric houses and enclosures. This is Camelford’s special place, a magical retreat important for the spirit of its inhabitants.