Old Ordnance Survey Maps of Cornwall

This page summarises the local government organisation of Cornwall since 1889.

  • Cornwall County Council was formed in 1889, and in 1894 a network of boroughs, urban district and rural district councils was formed across the county.
  • Cornwall had nine Boroughs dating back to 1836: Bodmin, Falmouth, Helston, Launceston, Liskeard, Penryn, Penzance, St Ives, Truro Municipal Boroughs. Saltash became a Borough in 1885 and Fowey in 1913. In 1968 Fowey MB merged with St Austell UDC to form St Austell with Fowey Municipal Borough. Truro was made a City in 1877.
  • From 1894 there were also 10 Urban Districts: Camborne, Hayle, Ludgram, Madron, Newquay, Padstow, Paul, Phillack, Redruth, and St Austell Urban Districts. Later Urban Districts were St Just (1897); Looe, Wadebridge (both 1898); Stratton & Bude (1900 but renamed Bude-Stratton in 1934); Callington (1901 but abolished 1934); Torpoint (1904).
  • There was reorganisation of the Urban Districts in 1934, when Camborne and Redruth were amalgamated as Camborne-Redruth UDC; Callington, Hayle, Lugram, Madron, Paul, and Phillack UDCs were abolished and absorbed by neighbouring councils. Padstow and Wadebridge were amalgamated as Wadebridge & Padstow RDC in 1968.
  • There were also 15 Rural District Councils covering the areas outside the major towns, but these had less powers. Initially most were based on the Unions, met at the Workhouse, and had the Guardians serving as councillors. These were: Bodmin*, Calstock*, Camelford, East Kerrier*, Helston*, Isles of Scilly, Launceston, Liskeard, Redruth*, St Austell, St Columb Major, St Germans, Stratton, Truro, West Penwith. Those marked * were abolished in 1934.

    In 1974 major reorganisation saw the urban and rural districts abolished and a two-tier structure established, with the County Council and 6 Districts. These were: Caradon, Carrick, Kerrier, North Cornwall, Penwith, and Restormel. However, in 2009 the Districts were abolished and Cornwall became a unitary authority. The Isles of Scilly remained a unitary authority.

    For a list of Cornwall maps go to the Cornwall page. For a full list of English maps, return to the England page

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