CAMBORNE, a market town in the Camborne parliamentary division of Cornwall, England, on the Great Western railway, 13 m. E.N.E. of Penzance. Pop. of urban district (1901), 14,726. It lies on the northward slope of the central elevation of the county, and is in the neighbourhood of some of the most productive tin and copper mines. These and the manufacture of mining machinery employ most of the inhabitants. The parish church of St Martin contains several monuments and an ancient stone altar bearing a Latin inscription. There are science and art and mining schools, and practical mining is taught in South Condurrow mine, the school attracting a large number of students. It was developed from classes initiated in 1859 by the Miners’ Association, and a three years’ course of instruction is provided.
Camborne (Cambron, Camron) formed a portion of the extensive manor of Tehidy, which at the time of the Domesday Survey was held by the earl of Mortain and subsequently by the Dunstanville and Basset families. Its interests were economically insignificant until the beginning of the 18th century when the rich deposits of copper and tin began to be vigorously worked at Dolcoath. It has been estimated that in 1788 this mine alone had produced ore worth £2,000,000 and in 1882 ore worth £5,500,000. As the result of the prosperity of this and other mines in the neighbourhood the population in 1860 was double that of 1830, six times that of 1770 and fifteen times that of 1660. Camborne was the scene of the scientific labours of Richard Trevithick (1771–1833), the engineer, born in the neighbouring parish of Illogan, and of William Bickford, the inventor of the safety-fuse, a native of Camborne. Three fairs on the feasts of St Martin and St Peter and on 25th of February were granted in 1708. The two former are still held, the last has been transferred to the 7th of March. A Tuesday market formed the subject of a judicial inquiry in 1768, but since the middle of the 19th century it has been held on Saturdays.