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Originally a Saxon settlement and probably called Celliwic, the town of Callington (Cornish: Kelliwik) grew to a community of 200 by the time of the Norman conquest. Callington (Calweton, Calvington, Killington, Killiton) is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of East. It is bounded on the north by Stoke Climsland, east by Calstock and St Dominick, south by St Mellion and St Ive, and on the west by Southill. The parish is named after the Old English for 'Bare Hill'. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Calwetone. In 1584, Callington became a Parliamentary Borough, and continued to send two members to Parliament, until disenfranchised under the Reform Act of 1832.

The town of Callington is situated on a general declivity, but the prospects from it are neither extensive nor picturesque, more especially in some directions where the boundaries are fixed by the more elevated hills. Behind it rises Hingston Downs, some of the highest land in Cornwall; at a distance the hill of Carraton (or Carradon) is visible. Frogwell was the only village in the parish.

Archives and Libraries

Callington Museum and Heritage Centre is situated in the former chapel building on Liskeard Road, Callington. It opened on 2nd June 1994 and since then has attracted over 7,000 visitors. Its exhibits span all aspects of the social and economic history of Callington and its surrounding parishes. As well as being a place of interest to visit, the Museum aims to provide a resource for those interested in our local history, whether professional or enthusiast. The Museum has a permanent display of prehistory, mining and models of Callington town centre circa 1840, and Callington Railway Station. There is also a changing display of artefacts and documents. Three exhibitions are staged from April to October each year.

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Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held in the Cornwall Record Office. The Cornwall Family History Society offers a census search service for its members. The Cornwall Family History Society have also published on-line census detail by surname on the FamilyHistoryonLine site.

Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:

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Church History

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Church Records

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Civil Registration

The parish of Callington was originally in the Liskeard Registration District. There were sub-districts at Callington, Lerrin, Liskeard and Looe. It is now in the St Germans Registration District. Parishes within the Liskeard district were: Boconnoc, Broadoak, Callington, Calstock (1837-60), Duloe, East Looe, Lanreath, Lansallos, Lanteglos, Linkinhorne, Liskeard, Liskeard Borough, Menheniot, Morval, Pelynt, St. Cleer, St. Dominick, St. Ive, St. Keyne, St. Martin's, St. Neot, St. Pinnock, St. Veep, Southill, Talland, West Looe.

The Superintendant Registrar of St Germans can be contacted at: Ploughastel Drive, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6DL. Tel: 01752 842624.

Description & Travel

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OPC Assistance. The On-line Parish Clerk (OPC) scheme operates a service to help family historians; the OPC page for this parish is available on-line, from where the OPC can be contacted by email.

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Historical Geography

The Domesday Settlements of Cornwall, a study undertaken by the Cornwall Branch of the Historical Association, has identified and located settlements listed in the Exeter and Exchequer Domesday Survey of AD 1086. The following places have been identified in Callington ecclesiastical parish:

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Callington Area Heritage Centre have placed on-line a webpage for the history of Callington parish.

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The following Newspapers covered this parish: Acknowledgements are made to the British Library Board for permission to reproduce the gist of the text.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Callington parish was part of the Liskeard Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.

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  • Population in 1801 - 819 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 938 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 1321 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 1388 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 1685 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 2142 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 2202 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 2173 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 1925 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 1888 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 1714 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 1712 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 1634 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 1987 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 2212 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 2209 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 2801 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 2970 persons (including 2560 in Callington town)
  • Population in 1991 - 4264 persons (including 3790 in Callington town)
  • Population in 2001 - 4783 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 5665 persons

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Religion & Religious Life

In the May of 1641 it was agreed and ordered that every Member of the House of Commons and House of Lords should make a protestation (declaration of loyalty) to the crown. The Protestation was printed and then distributed by the Members to their counties. The Protestation was to be made by everyone and the Rectors, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, had to appear before the Justices of the Peace in their Hundred to make their protestation and, on returning to their parishes, any two of them were to witness the taking of the Protestation Oath by all males over the age of 18 years. All names were listed and anyone who refused was to be noted.

The Protestation Returns of 1642 for Callington are available on-line.

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The parish comprises 2528 acres of land and 3 acres of water.

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