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North Cornwall was the largest of the six local government districts of Cornwallmarker, United Kingdommarker. Its council was based in Wadebridgemarker . Other towns in the district included Budemarker, Bodminmarker, Launcestonmarker, Padstowmarker, and Camelfordmarker.The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by a merger of the boroughs of Bodmin and Launceston, along with Bude-Strattonmarker urban district and Camelford Rural District, Launceston Rural District, Stratton Rural District and Wadebridge and Padstow Rural District. However it was abolished as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England on 1 April (succeeded by Cornwall unitary authority).

North Cornwall is an area of outstanding natural beauty that is of important geological and scientific interest. It includes the only part of Cornwallmarker that is formed of carboniferous rocks, the northern area of North Cornwall District. The rest of the district lies on Devonian sedimentary strata and the granite of Bodmin Moor. A similar area is covered by the North Cornwall parliamentary constituencymarker.


On 9th January 2008 the 'Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West' (RSS) announced plans to massively increase house-building in Cornwall stating that almost 70,000 new homes would be built by 2026. The findings of the 'Examination in Public' into the RSS, were produced by the unelected South West Regional Assembly. The original Draft RSS was published in 2006 and the new figures show another 53% increase. Figures for the new plans included:
  • Caradonmarker – 6,500 housing units (an increase of 700 on the original document)
  • Carrickmarker – 10,900 housing units (increase of 900)
  • Kerriermarker – 14,400 housing units (increase of 6,200)
  • North Cornwall – 13,400 housing units ( increase of 5,800)
  • Penwithmarker – 7,800 housing units (increase of 3,000)
  • Restormelmarker – 15,700 housing units (increase of 7,100).

There has been much concern in Cornwall regarding these proposals and Dick Cole, the leader of the Cornish political party Mebyon Kernow, has issued a statement saying that local housing strategy should be determined by democratically elected Cornish politicians.

Parishes of North Cornwall


The Platt in Wadebridge looking at the Clock Tower
The motte at Launceston Castle
North Cornwall has a stretch of coastline that borders the Celtic Seamarker to the north. The Carboniferous sandstone cliffs that surround Budemarker (and stretch down as far south as Crackington Havenmarker) were formed during the Carboniferous Era, around 300 million years ago. They are part of what are known to geologists as the Culm Measures which continue eastwards across north Devon. The folded and contorted stratification of shale and sandstone is unique in southern England, although the Gower peninsulamarker and the Vale of Glamorganmarker, across the Bristol Channelmarker in Walesmarker, have a similar stratification. During the Variscan Orogeny, which affected the entire Cornish coast, the cliffs were pushed up from underneath the sea, creating the overlapping strata. As the sands and cliffs around Bude contain calcium carbonate (a natural fertiliser), farmers used to take sand from the beach, for spreading on their fields. The cliffs around Bude are the only ones in Cornwall that are made of carboniferous sandstone, as most of the Cornish coast is geologically formed of Devonian slate, granite and Precambrian metamorphic rocks). The stratified cliffs of Bude gave their name to a geological event called the Bude Formation. Many formations can be viewed from the South West Coast Path which passes through the town.

The larger harbours are at Padstow and Bude and on the intervening coast Port Isaac, Port Gaverne, Port Quin, Port William, Tintagel, Bossiney and Boscastle have all been used either for fishing or the export of slate. There are good beaches at Polzeath, Trebarwith Strand and Bude. At Delabole the large Delabole Quarry has been works for many centuries and there were once in the parish of Tintagel many other slate quarries. Granite and elvan have also been important minerals: there are major granite quarries in the parish of St Breward and also some china clay works on the edges of Bodmin Moor e.g. at Stannon near Camelford.

Most of the lowland areas have good agricultural land used either for mixed or dairy farming. At Davidstow much of the milk is processed into Davidstow cheese.

See also


  • Jenkin, A. K. Hamilton (1970) Mines and Miners of Cornwall. XVI: Wadebridge, Camelford and Bude. Penzance: Federation of Old Cornwall Societies
  • Maclean, Sir John (1872) The Parochial History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor. 3 vols. London: Nichols & Co., 1872-79

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