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Coordinates: 50°30′10″N 4°22′25″W / 50.5027°N 4.3736°W / 50.5027; -4.3736

Cornish: Kelliwik
Callington is located in Cornwall

 Callington shown within Cornwall
Population 4,783 (Parish, 2001)
OS grid reference SX359696
Parish Callington
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district PL17
Dialling code 01579
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament South East Cornwall
List of places: UK • England • Cornwall

Callington (Cornish: Kelliwik) is a small town and civil parish in southeast Cornwall, UK. The civil parish had a population of 4,783 in 2001, according to the 2001 census, although recent figures show that the population has risen to around 6000.



The town is situated between Kit Hill and Bodmin Moor. A former agricultural market town, it lies at the intersection of the North-South Plymouth-Saltash-Launceston-Bude road and the East-West Tavistock-Liskeard road.

From Kit Hill, there are far reaching views of the River Tamar, Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and Plymouth. Along with the town's mural trail they have proven to be popular with wandering tourists. Callington lies between four larger towns (Launceston, Liskeard, Tavistock and Saltash) and many inhabitants commute to Plymouth via the Tamar Bridge.

The town was formerly served by a railway station at Kelly Bray.

Railway station

Callington railway station was the terminus for a branch line that ran to Bere Alston where it joined 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 the fact that the final sections of the line had several severe gradients and speed restrictions which made operating difficult. It is still possible to 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. The nearest mainline train station to Callington is at Saltash.


Fore Street, Callington's main street

Callington is the home of the Worldwide Headquarters of Ginsters, and the Ginsters Pasty Factory. Ginsters is the largest employer in the town today and employs 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.[1]

Cornwall is a predominantly low wage economy with a high proportion of its income being derived from agriculture and tourism.


St Mary's Church

The town has long been supposed to be the site of the ancient tribal capital of the Kingdom of Cornwall and Arthurian base, known in the sources as Celliwig. References to it are made repeatedly, particularly in the Welsh Triads and other manuscripts. However, it should be noted, that Callington is only the foremost among several contending possible locations.

In the 18th century, Callington was one of the most important mining areas in the United Kingdom Deposits of silver were found nearby in Silver Valley. Today many old mining stacks dot the horizon, but there are no active mines apart from some granite quarrying on Hingston Down.

The Callington constituency elected two members to the unreformed House of Commons, and was considered a rotten borough. Its representation was abolished by the Reform Act 1832.

St Mary's Church was originally a chapel of ease to South Hill: it was consecrated in 1438 and had then 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.[2][3]


In recent years, the town has seen rapid residential development at the end Liskeard Road. More developments, including social housing, are planned for the next few years. The Town Council are constantly asked if new development will be acceptable and base their opinion in the original Callington public interest. 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 also Barsbüttel near Hamburg in Germany.

See also


  1. ^ "Ginsters' pasties 'Cornish through and through' thanks to Objective One". Objective One - Press Release. Retrieved 2009-05-27.  
  2. ^ Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall, 2nd ed. Penguin Books; pp. 48-49
  3. ^ Dunkin, E. (1882) Monumental Brasses. London, Spottiswoode; pp. 16-18, pl. XV

External links

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