HERITAGE & HISTORY
Bodmin and the Villages and Churches along the Bodmin Way are rich in heritage, history and culture - here are a few examples
An explanation of just two items, found at the Bodmin Town Museum:
Porcelain Toilet Pull – grander Victorian homes featured elaborate embossed and decorated toilets made by Twyford, Wedgewood and Shanks – the earlier cisterns were at high-level, supported on cast iron brackets, with a porcelain or wooden pull, on a chain.
Grape Shears - specifically designed for cutting grape stalks, invented in the 19th century, about 15 cm long; most have blunt tips so they won’t puncture the fruit.
See the items for yourself and many more at the Bodmin Town Museum, Mount Folly – free admission.
In the centre of the Bodmin Town Council logo is Æthelstan, who was Alfred the Great's grandson. Æthelstan or Athelstan was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 to 927 and King of the English from 927 to 939 when he died. He was the son of King Edward the Elder and his first wife, Ecgwynn. Modern historians regard him as the first King of England and one of the greatest Anglo-Saxon kings.
This charming little cottage is in the gardens of the National Trust Estate at Lanhydrock. In the past it was used as a tea room.
In 1339 the Bodmin Burgesses were jailed at Lostwithiel for failing to comply with an order by the King and Parliament to provide four ships and sufficient men to crew them to offset the possibility of a French invasion. It was some time before officials were able to convince Parliament that Bodmin was not on the coast.
Taken from ‘A History of Cornwall’ by F.E. Halliday. Page 55.
St Petroc, in the 6th Century, is said to have convinced a dragon, who was terrorising the people, to leave the valley, were the Dragon Leisure Centre, Bodmin, is now.
This is a Torpedo shaped bottle, that first appeared at the end of the 18th century. It allowed cheaper glass the necessary strength to hold carbonated drinks. See the bottle for yourself and so much more, at the Bodmin Town Museum, Mount Folly, next to the Shire Hall – free admission.
This interesting figure is found at St Meubred’s Church, Cardinham.
This plaque is on the wall of the Old Library, where intobodmin are building a resource for Bodmin, a welcoming place where people can meet, interact, engage and be inspired. It’s a home for music, theatre and the spoken word. It has an accessible cafe and venue for the young and old and everyone in between. It has a vision for a better Bodmin with culture at its heart – for more information please see
Nanstallon Roman Fort is thought to have been occupied from AD 65 to AD 79. It now remains as earthworks, which was established in excavations between 1965 and 1969. The dating evidence from coins and pottery suggests that Nanstallon Roman Fort was constructed late in the reign of Nero, certainly after AD 64.
St Benet's, a Benedictine monastery, was founded as a lazar house in 1411 and, during the 15th century, a chapel with a tower and a longhouse were built. The building work was not complete by 1430; it is mentioned in a document of 1535.
The trees have always been kept at this height, not so visitors can be seen approaching the house, or any other reason, other than, that is how high the ladders reach!
The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry War Memorial, situated outside Cornwall’s Regimental Museum in Bodmin, comprises a bronze statue of an infantryman in 1907, erected in 1924, pattern webbing, a Mk 1 helmet, and with a small box respirator in its case on his chest. The figure carries his rifle slung but with bayonet fixed and holds a Mills bomb (pin removed) in his right hand. The figure stands legs apart in a balanced, ready position, as if preparing to throw the bomb and is sculpted to appear as if he is stood in mud.
Nanstallon Community Primary School, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5JZ.
From ancient times the Curfew Bell at St Petroc’s Church Bodmin, was tolled daily at 8pm for five minutes, after which the Tenor Bell was tolled to indicate the date. This was done to remind people to damp down their fires to avoid fire spreading through the town. It only stopped in the 1980s. The last retained person, paid by the town council, to do this job was Charlie Hoskin. His walking stick is still in the bell tower to this day! Once, the famous preacher John Wesley, was lost in snow on Bodmin Moor but he found his way to Bodmin by following the Curfew Bell!
During WW2 pandas were moved from London to Whipsnade Zoo. Bamboo was planted and grown in Lanivet specifically to be taken to the zoo to feed the evacuee pandas.
In the Church of St Hydroc look for the coat of arms to George Carminow of Polmaugan (d. 1599). The arms bear a family motto in Cornish rather than the more common Latin. The motto was adopted in 1390 and is the oldest Cornish family motto in existence. The Carminow's chose the motto in protest against a famous court case over who had the right to bear the device of a blue shield with a gold band across it. The Carminow's claimed the right to the arms, as did the Scropes and Grosvenors. The Carminows went further and claimed that they had used the arms since the time of King Arthur, before heraldry was even invented, but the herald's hearing went against them.
This cross is believed to mark the very centre of Cornwall.
You can find it at Lanivet Parish Church. Photo by Charles.
It is Dilly Cart racing at the National Trust estate at Lanhydrock. On June 9th 2019 you can come and cheer contestants on as they whizz down the Dilly Cart tracks in front of the iconic gatehouse.