In 1867, Camborne (Cornish: Kammbronn) was situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. It was bounded on the north and east by the sea and Illogan, on the south by Crowan and Gwinear, and on the west by Gwithian. The parish is thought to take its name from the Cornish for a 'crooked hill', but it was also the site of a 'holy well' situated within it, from which the name could be derived.
Until the mining boom towards the end of the 18th century, which saw the Camborne and Redruth district become the richest mining area in the world at that time, Camborne was just a village. Influx of miners transformed the village into a town in a very short space of time. The town of Camborne is surrounded by numerous mine workings; it comprises several uniform streets which were filled with miners' cottages. The growth caused the parish to be spilt and three new parishes were created from Camborne to serve this boom: Tucking Mill in 1845, Treslothan also in 1845, and Penponds in 1854.
From the middle of the 19th century and into the 20th century, many mines closed which led to mass migration from the area. The last tin mine in Cornwall to close was the South Crofty mine in Camborne which ceased operations in 1998.
Richard Trevithick is probably Camborne's most famous son. He was born in a cottage a mile or so from Dolcoath Mine in Camborne, where his father was a mine Captain. His curiosity about the engineering aspects of the mining area in which he grew up, started at an early age, and this led to a career during which he pioneered the use of high pressure steam, and increased the efficiency of the engines used to pump water from the lower levels of Cornwall's tin and copper mines. Trevithick's inventive mind was never still - his ideas ranged from the first successful self-powered road vehicle, and a steam railway engine, to schemes for wreck salvage, land reclamation, mechanical refrigeration, agricultural machinery and for tunnelling under the Thames. Trevithick spent eleven years in South America, working for owners of silver mines. His memory is preserved in the annual Trevithick Day festival in the town.
Camborne became pre-eminent in the training of mining engineers; the Camborne School of Mines continues with this task into the 21st century.
Most parish and church description(s) on these pages are from Lake's Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 - 1873)