Camelford Poor Law Union was officially formed on 1st February 1837. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 22 in number, representing its 14 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):
Cornwall: Advent, St Breward (2), St Clether, Davidstow, Forrabury, St Juliot, Lesneweth, Lanteglos with Camelford (3), Michaelstow, Minster (2), Otterham, St Teath (2), Tintagel with Bossiney (3), Trevalga.
The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 6,943 with parishes ranging in size from Lesnewth (population 127) to Lanteglos/Camelford (1,359). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1834-36 had been £2,865 or 8s.3d. per head of the population.
The Camelford Union workhouse was built in 1858 to the west of Camelford. It was a small establishment, accommodating up to 80 inmates, and costing £1,200 to construct. Its location and layout are shown on the 1881 map below.
The workhouse buildings consisted of two parallel two-storey blocks, linked by a single-storey axial block, plus a small isolation hospital at the north-west corner of the site.
The site appears to have been sold off soon after the official end of the workhouse system in 1930. The surviving workhouse buildings have been converted into residential accommodation.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Cornwall Record Office, Old County Hall, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3AY. Relatively few records survive — holdings include Guardians' minute books (1879-1930); etc.
- Higginbotham, Peter The Workhouse Encyclopedia (2014, The History Press)
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