Camborne is surrounded by lots of villages that grew up around the mining industry in the area. Here is a small selection:
The village of Barripper is set on a stream that forms the western boundary of the parish of Camborne. Its name, of French origin, is derived from Beau Repere – “A beautiful resting place”. In medieval times it far outstripped in importance any other local community. The village lay on the direct route to St Michael’s Mount. The stream at Barripper once broadened into a large shallow pool and stepping stones cause the inhabitants to be called Barripper Ducks and the pool Barripper Harbour.
The village of Beacon is an ancient tenement in the parish of Camborne. ‘Beacon Lane’ first gets a mention in the 1768 census of the parish of Camborne taken by the parish clerk, Benjamin Glanville, and by 1843 is listed as a tenement in the parish Tithe Apportionment book.
The 19th century village sits in a slight hollow between two hills known as Carn Camborne and Carn Mough but crossing through its centre is a very ancient footpath coming from the direction of Pengegon towards Tolcarne Road and across the fields to the site of St James’ chapel at Treslothan, and now Treslothan Church.
To the south west of the village in the 16th century Tolcarne mine was at work, one of the oldest in the area, and to the north east Carn Camborne mine in the 19th century. At its height the Methodist Church had five places of worship within a short walking distance of Beacon Square, these being Beacon Wesleyan chapel, built in 1839, a Primitive Methodist Mission Room on Beacon Hill, a Wesleyan Mission room at Knave-go-bye, a further Wesleyan Chapel at Lower Condurrow and a Primitive Methodist Chapel at Higher Condurrow. The present Methodist congregation meets in the former 1895 Sunday School of the Beacon Wesleyan Chapel.
BreaBrea (derived from the Cornish Bre meaning ‘hill’) is a small hamlet of miners’ cottages situated south of the railway line in the Red River valley. The miners would walk to their work at the nearby mines at Dolcoath, Tincroft and Cook’s Kitchen. There would also be a significant amount of tin streaming in the area.
When the West Cornwall Railway was created the embankment across the Red River virtually cut off the view to the west and a small tunnel provided the main access to the town. The two main buildings are the Brea Inn and the Methodist Chapel built in 1882.
KehellandThe village of Kehelland lies 1.5m NW of Camborne on the old churchway from Gwithian to Camborne Church. The name ‘Kehelland’ derives from The Cornish words kelli ‘grove’ and hellan ‘old enclosure’. The sole remaining chapel is the Weslyan Chapel built in 1981 and still plays an important role in village activities.
At the lower end of the village Menadarva borders the Red River and lies at the heart of the former tin streaming industry. In days gone by a number of mines operated around the village. In recent times Kehelland Meteorological Station plays an important role in high altitude research and weather balloons fitted with transponders are released from the Station twice a day.
PenpondsThe village of Penponds lies 1 1/4 miles west of Camborne. The name Penponds is derived from Cornish and means ‘Bridge End’. Originally Penponds was that part of the village called Higher Penponds near the main Barripper road. It is thought there was a Medieval manor of Penponds & Barripper, ownership of which passed eventually to the St. Aubyn family of Clowance.
Whilst there is no documentary evidence of a manor house Professor Charles Thomas believes that the most likely site is that of Ivy Cottage in Higher Penponds. To cater for the growing population of the area the church was built & consecrated in 1854. This victorian church is reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Cornwall. The locomotive engineer, Richard Trevithick lived for much of his youth in a thatched cottage in Higher Penponds, now owned by the National Trust.
The village, probably the largest in Cornwall, is situated some two miles south of Camborne centre. It owes its existence mainly to the Wheal Grenville Mine. A leat runs down Pendarves Street which served to supply the houses with water. Depressions in the leat allowed residents to fill their buckets.
The house on the corner to the square was once the home of John Harris the Cornish miner poet. The miners’ houses were mainly built in the late 19th and early 20th century. The mines of Condurrow, Fortescue, King Edward and the Great Flat Lode provided work for many years. King Edward Mine is now a heritage mine which has a full complement of processing machinery.