- For the community in Cochrane District, Ontario, Canada, see: Calstock, Ontario
Calstock village from the viaduct
Calstock shown within Cornwall
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Calstock (Cornish: Kalstok) is a civil parish and a large village in south east Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, on the border with Devon. The village is situated on the River Tamar 6 miles (9.7 km) south west of Tavistock and 10 miles (16 km) north of Plymouth.
As well as Calstock, other settlements in the parish include Albaston, Chilsworthy, Gunnislake, Harrowbarrow, Latchley, Metherell, Coxpark, Dimson, Drakewalls, Norris Green, Rising Sun and St Ann's Chapel.
Calstock village is within the Tamar Valley AONB, is overlooked by Cotehele house and gardens, and lies on the scenic Tamar Valley railway. Calstock railway station opened on 2 March 1908. The village is twinned with Saint-Thuriau in Brittany, France.
There is evidence of human settlement in Calstock from Roman, or pre-Roman times, settlers attracted by the rich source of minerals, such as tin, in the area. A Roman fort, only the third known in Cornwall, was discovered next to the church in 2008.
In Saxon times Calstock was in the Kingdom of Cornwall, which resisted the spread of Wessex from the east. In 838 CE Wessex had spread as far as the Tamar, and a battle for independence was fought near Calstock. Following the Norman Conquest, Calstock manor was recorded in the Domesday Book. The Saxon manor was taken over, and in the 14th century became part of the Duchy of Cornwall: one of the 17 Antiqua maneria.
Mining and transport
Mining was important in Calstock from Mediaeval times, with the Duchy mining silver. The industry was booming in the late 19th century and the discovery of copper, and coupled with nearby granite quarrying made Calstock a busy port. The rapid population boom due to the growth of industry led, in 1849, to an outbreak of cholera. The industry declined in the early 20th century due to foreign competition, and now only the ruined pump houses that dot the landscape remain.
The Tamar is navigable to boats past Calstock some 3 miles (4.8 km) upstream to Morwellham Quay with some 10 feet (3.0 m) or even 20 feet (6.1 m) of water at extreme spring tides. Calstock Quay was once important for transporting goods, and in the Victorian era when steamers brought tourists to the village, Calstock was visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1846. The importance of the river as a transport route declined with the construction of the 14 miles (23 km) Tamar Valley railway at the start of the 20th century. The village is still dominated by the railway's viaduct. The viaduct, constructed entirely from precast concrete blocks, was first crossed by truck on 8 August 1907 and first used by passengers on 2 March 1908.
Parish church of St Andrew
The church (pictured below) was built partly in the early and partly in the late 15th century: the western tower is of three stages and of granite. At the east end of each aisle are rectangular windows of three lights. The Edgcumbe Chapel contains two monuments of the late 17th century: to Piers Edgcumbe (1666) and to Jemima, Countess of Sandwich (1674). The rectory is the work of Decimus Burton, 1853-54.
Calstock Community Primary School was built in 1901 and opened on 6 January 1902. At that time the school consisted of just two main classrooms. It has since been extended with the addition of the infant suite plus the Head Teacher's office which has to be shared with the school secretary. The infant suite extension won an award for architectural design, in keeping with the remainder of the school. The centenary of the school was celebrated in the summer of 2002.
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 201 Plymouth & Launceston ISBN 978-0-319-23146-3
- Office for National Statistics & Cornwall County Council, 2001. Parish population statistics
- Calstock Online Parish Clerk, 2005. Calstock Parish.
- Cornwall; Explore Britain
- Smart, Chris; et al. "Calstock Roman Fort". Department of Archaeology, The University of Exeter. Retrieved 2009-08-23.[dead link]
- Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall; 2nd ed., revised by Enid Radcliffe. Harmondsworth: Penguin; p. 49
- "Our School". Calstock Community Primary School. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
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