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Events In Cornwall

Callington

Editor’s View

Tanith Williams

Callington Editor: Tanith Williams
Contact: info@findyourcornwall.co.uk

Callington and its surrounding area has always been my home. The smell of freshly cooked pasties from the Ginsters factory nearby often wafted through our school playground and the rolling fields surrounding the town and school give it a true country feel.

You only have to walk a short distance to reach the countryside where beautiful scenery is impossible to miss and make the well trodden paths a joy to stumble across. The town itself is physically small, but has a large population encouraged to the area by the good school, work prospects at the Ginsters factory and easy links to Plymouth and the Tamar valley.

Callington History

The first mention of Callington (or Calweton or Killington as it was previously called) in any historical texts details a charter by King Henry III in 1267 allowing a weekly and annual fair to be held in the town. Itís a tradition that continues to this day with regular markets selling local produce held in the town hall and once a year the Honey Fair takes over the town with its stalls and fairground.

Callington has grown and changed a lot through the years. During the 19th century, it became integral to the mining community, providing a base for the workers and the economic trading of the time. Evidence of former links with mining can be seen all over the surrounding countryside. One of the most notable, and a popular destination for visitors, is the mining stack at Kit Hill, which towers over Callington.

Callington Religion

Long before the mining companies ravaged the countryside around Callington, the town was changing in a very different way. The parish church, St Maryís, is still a thriving part of the community, providing both a religious and social service within the town. Its central location and beautiful design make it a wonderful site to visit. A true Tudor church, built in the 15th century, it has stood the test of time and boasts stunning stained-glass windows, decorations dating from the time of the Celts and is wonderful to tour, particularly if youíre interested in local or religious history.

The Old Clink

A few yards around the corner stands the Old Clink, a small building, now grade II listed, in which the local sergeant used to hold prisoners awaiting the arrival of the magistrate, without whom no charge could be brought against the offender. The Old Clink is an important link to the townís history, and although little remains today it is a site all locals know of. Well worth a stop for visitors to linger awhile and imagine what life would have been like for a prisoner in the past.

Callington Museum

With such important historical links itís unsurprising that Callington has its own museum, open April – October. It has recently been refurbished and offers a mine of information about the town from medieval times to the present. Volunteers are on hand to answer your questions and show you round the exhibition, which changes annually. This year, itís ĎTipplers and Teetotallersí, an investigation into the drinking habits of the local population through the ages. Located on Liskeard Road, only a short walk from the town centre the museum is a must see for any visitor to the South-East of Cornwall.

Myths & Legend at Dupath

Those interested in history, or the mystical side of Cornish legend would soon be directed by any local to the small site at Dupath, on the outskirts of the town, where youíll find a small well after a short walk down a path leading from Dupath Farm. The granite dates back to at least 1510 and it was said that anyone who drank from its waters would magically find themselves cured of their ailments. Although few locals now believe in its powers some claim its history dates much further back and with such fascinating tales to uncover, Dupath House Bed and Breakfast is a handy setting from which to begin your investigations.

The Callington Mural Project

For those more attracted to the present day, the mural project may hold great appeal. Created to allow young and amateur artists the chance to showcase their work, these beautiful paintings are now dotted around the town. All of the pictures have a connection to the townís history or community and through these tourists can trace Callingtonís journey through time while enjoying the local artistic talent. One particular mural is of a train, a tribute to the long lost railway station that served the town, another is a comedic representation of the Ginsters factory, complete with old ladies using their gums to crimp the Cornish pasties. Such oddities make the mural tour, a guidebook of which can be found in many of the local shops, a real gem, livening the localsí day and delighting visitors to the town.

Where to Eat in Callington

No holiday in the West Country would be complete without sampling traditional Cornish food and Callington is the perfect base from which to begin your culinary tour. Numerous bakeries line the high street selling pasties and gloriously inviting sticky buns and saffron cakes. Thereís a good traditional fish and chip shop conveniently close to the old jail serving up locally caught fish, sit down meal, or take-away. The setting of the sun brings a little more choice to the hungry visitor: Langmanís restaurant offers a wonderful gourmet experience and first-class service, although its exclusivity demands you pre-book. There are several traditional pubs, serving food and real ale to tourists and locals alike as well, of course, as the mandatory Chinese and Indian restaurants.

Callington Calendar Ė Notable Dates

Finally, for those wishing to visit at a particular time of year I cannot recommend the first Wednesday in October highly enough. On this day each year the Honey Fair comes to town. Itís a traditional festivity that was revived in the 1970s to celebrate the communityís honey production. It now fills the streets of Callington with stalls and fairground rides, bringing children and adults into the streets to raise money and support local businesses.

Similarly, in August the town comes alive during the Lionís Club Annual Gala Day. Raising money for local projects it features music by local musicians, a fair and other activities including, amongst other things, an excellent refreshments tent. Every year the people of Callington come out in their hundreds to celebrate their town, show support for their community and enjoy the events laid on for them, all in true Cornish spirit.

Callington is the perfect base for those wishing to explore South-East Cornwall. Kit Hill is only a couple of miles away, with its beautiful walks and views out to Plymouth and the Moorlands. The Tamar Valley, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a short drive and is an site which offers an almost inexhaustible selection of bike rides and hikes across the countryside. Those wishing to venture towards the sea should head towards Looe and from there continue their journey into Cornwall.

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Inside View

Mavis Honour, 65, has lived in Callington and the surrounding area for her entire life, seeing it grow, change and evolve into the pretty country town that it is today.

ĎI grew up on a farm with my family a few miles outside of the town, a little up the hill from the walking spot along the river at Newbridge. I loved living on the farm, the countryside surrounding Callington is beautiful and I didnít want to leave, which is why I moved to the town centre later on in my life. As a child I went to Callington Primary, though so much has changed in the town that even that has moved, replaced by the police station, with the new school moving up the hill. My daughter and I also both went to the comprehensive. They were much better schools years later when Charlotte (her daughter, 22) attended, with a really good local reputation. When I was younger we used to go to dances in the town and the shopping used to be so much better, you could buy anything from clothes and shoes to all your daily groceries. I have also worked in Callington for most of my life, I worked on the accounts at Trewarthaís, the local hardware store thatís still there. I also worked in Kelly Bray, a little way out of the town and I remember being so scared that they all hated me as no one would say a word, but the ice was soon broken when I dropped the office teapot and sent everyone into fits of laughter. This was before the introduction of computers of course; they were brought in soon after the birth of my daughter, and never having been trained to use them I never returned to accounting.

I decided to move from the farm to the centre of town shortly after Charlotte was born; although I loved living in the countryside I decided it was too remote a location for an only child to grow up in. I wanted her to be able to enjoy the social aspects of the town when she grew up. Very soon after moving into the centre of Callington the local health visitor asked me to join a mother and baby group so I soon made friends with the other local mothers. We used to regularly go back to the farm while Charlotte was growing up, she loved to play with the animals or on the weekends we would often walk towards Kelly Bray or go up to Kit Hill to play.

The town has grown so much, even during my time there, there are a great many more houses than when I first moved there, helped, probably by the Ginsters factor and the better school. We also have two supermarkets now; the high street is nothing like it used to be, most of the independent shops have gone and the town is full of estate agents and banks. The town is still beautiful though, I think the murals are a lovely attraction, they paint a history of the town and most be lovely for the tourists to see. To anyone that asked I would also recommend going to see the church; itís a lovely feature of the town, right in the heart of Callington and its community. Just round the corner is the Old Clink, the little jail that used to hold prisoners waiting to be tried in the olden days, it was also the name of the pub nearby, though it has recently changed hands and name. One of the best features of Callington is fairs and carnivals, the Honey Fair, held in October in particular, I remember when the tradition was revived, I took my mother to the fair and Charlotte of course loved the stalls and rides when she was growing up. I think itís a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and is a lovely part of Callingtonís history.í

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Location

Your Comments

  • Walk around the town and check out the amazing murals
  • See great old photos at Heritage centre on Liskeard Road
  • Explore nearby Kit Hill with stunning views over the valley

Callington Honey Fair

Oct 5th 2011

Callington is the only town in Cornwall to still hold a Honey Fair. Itís a wonderful, vibrant street fair packed with craft and food stalls. Competitions and events throughout the day