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Fore Street, Callington's main street
|Population||5,786 (Census 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Police||Devon and Cornwall|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
The town is situated in east Cornwall between Dartmoor to the east and Bodmin Moor to the west. A former agricultural market town, it lies at the intersection of the south-north A388 Saltash to Launceston road and the east-west A390 Tavistock to Liskeard road.
Callington railway station was the terminus of a branch line from Bere Alston, the junction with the Southern Railway's Tavistock to Plymouth line. The railway line beyond Gunnislake to the Callington terminus was closed in the 1960s, due to low usage and difficult operating conditions on the final sections of the line due to several severe gradients and speed restrictions. One can still travel by rail on the Tamar Valley Line from Plymouth as far as Gunnislake via Bere Alston, where trains reverse. For most of its journey the line follows the River Tamar. Gunnislake is the nearest railway station to Callington, although the nearest mainline station is at Saltash.
Food manufacturers Ginsters and Tamar Foods (both wholly owned subsidiaries of Samworth Brothers) are the largest employers in the town and employ hundreds of locals as well as many immigrants who have arrived as a consequence of the recent accession to the EU of a number of Eastern European countries.
Ginsters uses local produce in many of its products, buying potatoes and other vegetables from local farmers and suppliers.
There is also a Tesco supermarket, opened in 2010, which employs 200 locals.
Cornwall is a predominantly low wage economy with a high proportion of its income being derived from agriculture and tourism.
Callington has been postulated as one of the possible locations of the ancient site of Celliwig, associated with King Arthur. Nearby ancient monuments include Castlewitch Henge with a diameter of 96m and Cadsonbury Iron Age hillfort, as well as Dupath Well built in 1510 on the site of an ancient sacred spring.
Callington was recorded in the Domesday Book (1086); the manor had four hides of land and land for thirty ploughs. The lord had land for three ploughs with eleven serfs. Twenty-four villeins and fourteen smallholders had land for fifteen ploughs. There were also one and a half square leagues of pasture and a small amount of woodland. The income of the manor was £6 sterling.
In 1601 Robert Rolle (died 1633) purchased the manor of Callington, thereby gaining the pocket borough seat of Callington in Parliament, which in future served to promote the careers of many Rolles. He nominated to this seat his brother William Rolle (died 1652) in 1604 and 1614, his son Sir Henry Rolle (1589–1656), of Shapwick, in 1620 and 1624, his son-in-law Thomas Wise (died March 1641) of Sydenham in Devon, in 1625, and another son John Rolle (1598–1648),
In the 19th-century, Callington was one of the most important mining areas in Great Britain. Deposits of silver were found nearby in Silver Valley. Today, the area is marked by mining remains, but there are no active mines. Granite is still quarried on Hingston Down.
The former Callington constituency, a rotten borough, elected two members to the unreformed House of Commons but was abolished by the Reform Act 1832. The town is now in the South East Cornwall constituency.
St Mary's Church was originally a chapel of ease to South Hill; it was consecrated in 1438 and then had two aisles and a buttressed tower; a second north aisle was added in 1882. Unusually for Cornwall there is a clerestory; the wagon roofs are old. The parish church contains the fine brass of Nicholas Assheton and his wife, 1466.
Callington is one of a small number of towns to continue to appoint a Portreeve; originally a medieval revenue officer and now an honorary title given to the chairman of the town council. Callington Town Council has twelve members and covers the civil parish of Callington. At the Council elections in 2013 only ten candidates stood, eight Independents and two Mebyon Kernow Councillors.
In recent years, the town has seen much residential development with more, including social housing, planned for the next few years. The neighbouring village of Kelly Bray has almost doubled in size in recent years with houses still being built in the area.
Callington is twinned with Guipavas in Brittany, France, and Barsbüttel near Hamburg in Germany. It also has unofficial friendship links with Keila in Estonia and a suburb of Malaga, Spain.
Callington has both football and cricket teams. Callington Town Football Club (established 1989) has four adult teams playing in the South West Peninsula League, East Cornwall League, Duchy League and South West Regional Women's Football League. They all play at Marshfield Parc. Callington Cricket Club has three teams playing in the Cornwall Cricket League and play their games at Moores Park.
- "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.
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 201 Plymouth & Launceston ISBN 978-0-319-23146-3
- 2011 Census for Callington ward
- Cornwall; Explore Britain
- "Ginsters' pasties 'Cornish through and through' thanks to Objective One". Objective One - Press Release. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- Pearce, Susan M. (1974), "The Cornish Elements in the Arthurian Tradition", Folklore, 85 (3): 147, JSTOR 1260070 – via JSTOR (subscription required)
- The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map. "Castlewitch Henge Henge : The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map:". Megalithic.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- "Flying Past - The Historic Environment of Cornwall: Power and Authority". Historic-cornwall.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map. "Cadson Bury Hillfort : The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map:". Megalithic.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- "Domesday Reloaded: CADSON BURY". BBC. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- Thorn, C. et al. (1979) Cornwall. Chichester: Phillimore; entry 1,10
- Open Domesday Online: Callington, accesed December 2017.
- Hunneyball (2010)
- Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall, 2nd ed. Penguin Books; pp. 48-49
- Dunkin, E. (1882) Monumental Brasses. London, Spottiswoode; pp. 16-18, pl. XV
- "Portreeve". Callington Town Council. Retrieved 22 June 2017.