Camelford Picture 1

Image by Matt Jessop - supplied by Visit Cornwall


Camelford is an attractive, ancient town straddling the A39, which runs between Bude and Wadebridge. As implied by the name, the town is situated on the River Camel. This name was believed to have been a contraction of Camalanford, from cam, meaning crooked, alan, meaning beautiful, and ford. The symbol of the camel, as seen on the Town Hall weather vane, has often been used in connection with the town, but the name has nothing whatsoever to do with camels. 

The town lies on the edge of Bodmin Moor and is about six miles inland from the rugged North Cornwall coast, with the delightful villages of Boscastle and Tintagel within easy reach. 

Legend has it that King Arthur and his Knights are a part of North Cornwall history, and that Camelford was the Camelot, of legend. The truth will never be known, although there was a warrior king who died in a bloody battle at Slaughter Bridge, just outside Camelford. This real king's name was never known, so could it have been Arthur? 

CamelfordHistorical record tells us that the ancient town of Camelford was on an old medieval trading route. It became an important commercial centre when a royal charter was granted in 1259 by Richard, Earl of Cornwall. This marked the creation of the present Borough. In 1552 Edward VI gave Camelford the right to send two members to Parliament. This right continued until 1832, when the Reform Bill abolished the rotten boroughs, including Camelford. As a result of its convenient position, the town's hosteleries and businesses thrived. In addition, the patronage of its MPs brought money into the town, as can be seen by looking at some of the local architecture.