the river camel

The Camel probably derives its name from the Cornish kamm “crooked”, an apt name as a glance at a map shows. The river's source is at Hendraburnick Downs near Davidstow on Bodmin Moor. On its journey it flows through the parishes of Michaelstow, St Breward, St Tudy, St Mabyn, Helland, Lanivet, St Breock and Egloshayle before finally becoming a tidal estuary at Wadebridge. The Camel has tributaries, the main ones being the De Lank which joins it at Tresarrett and the Allen which enters at Sladesbridge. One of the earliest references to the name Camel is in 1259 when Camelford was granted its charter.

The Camel has been a good friend to Wadebridge, but it can also bring dangers including flooding. It has taken lives. An early victim, Nicholas Russel, was drowned while trying to reach the Prior of Bodmin’s boat in 1302. In 1617 the Camel claimed nine victims, all of whom were buried at Egloshayle on the same day.

The Camel has also been the scene of festivals, races and other happy occasions. Regattas were once popular and there is a report of one which was staged on Wednesday 29th August 1884 with several hundred people lining the embankments to watch the races. The tide was said to be splendid and the weather beautiful. A steamer from Padstow brought many more people, as did a special excursion train from Bodmin. Another regatta was reported in 1911 which also featured a sports day.

There were also annual swimming matches with many races, one featuring a contest between the men of Egloshayle and the men of St Breock.

During the 1970s and 1980s raft races were popular. Duck races are now staged annually on the Camel which are organised by the Wadebridge Scout Group.

"Informative with lovely volunteers"

Really lovely free museum which is dog friendly. Volunteers are immensely helpful and knowledgeable, offering free historical guides and maps. Please do donate - this little museum really needs to continue.

"Great Local Museum"

This is a smashing venue just off the main shopping street. It is ideal for a visit to learn about thre local history of Wadebridge. The volunteers who run the place are cheerful and enthusiastic. There are plenty of visual displays backed up by knowlegable staff. It’s ideal for under an hour and open 11-3 Mon - Sat. It’s free but make a donation.

"Another great little museum"

This is a charming and informative local museum. Free to enter, the collection reflects local life and the history of the area. The museum is staffed by volunteers who are friendly and helpful. Free information guides are offered and the volunteers are ready and willing to answer any questions. This is another local museum which relies on donations to keep it running. It is a very dog friendly area and this includes the museum so canine friends are welcome. I spent about 45 minutes here as it is a small museum, but I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

"Very interesting"

The Wadebridge and District Museum reopened in 2013 and has a most interesting collection of photographs and artefacts about the history of Wadebridge. It is primarily manned by local volunteers who are able to provide you with not only the past historical details of this Town and about the various industries and businesses that used to be found in this area – but also about the typical life and times of local residents and how it has changed over the years. Recommended as a good starting point for visitors to Wadebridge

"just dropped in"

it was raining , glad it was or i would not have known how great this place is , finding out about where you are and the history , good fun and great staff to explain things you may not understand ,well worth the visit ,..