Bodmin (Cornish: Bosvena) is a civil parish and historic town in
Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated south-west of Bodmin
The extent of the civil parish corresponds fairly closely to that of
the town so is mostly urban in character. It is bordered to the east
Cardinham parish, to the southeast by
Lanhydrock parish, to the
southwest and west by
Lanivet parish, and to the north by Helland
Bodmin had a population of 14,736 as of the 2011 Census. It was
formerly the county town of
Cornwall until the Crown Courts moved to
Truro which is also the administrative centre (before 1835 the county
town was Launceston).
Bodmin was in the administrative North Cornwall
District until local government reorganisation in 2009 abolished the
District (see also
Cornwall Council). The town is part of the North
Cornwall parliamentary constituency, which is represented by Scott
Bodmin Town Council is made up of sixteen councillors who are elected
to serve a term of four years. Each year, the Council elects one of
its number as Mayor to serve as the town's civic leader and to chair
council meetings. .
1 Situation and origin of the name
Bodmin Borough Police
3.1 Parish church of St Petroc
3.2 Other churches
3.3 Archdeaconry of Bodmin
4 Sites of interest
6 Other sites
7.1 Primary schools
7.3 Callywith College
7.4 Army School of Education
9 Sport and leisure
11 Notable people
12 Town twinning
13 Official heraldry
14 Official events
14.1 'Beating the bounds' and 'hurling'
15 See also
17 Further reading
18 External links
Situation and origin of the name
Bodmin lies in the east of Cornwall, south-west of
Bodmin Moor. It has
been suggested that the town's name comes from an archaic word in the
Cornish language "bod" (meaning a dwelling; the later word is "bos")
and a contraction of "menegh" (monks). The "monks' dwelling" may refer
to an early monastic settlement instituted by St. Guron, which St.
Petroc took as his site. Guron is said to have departed to
St Goran on
the arrival of Petroc.
The hamlets of Cooksland, Dunmere and
Turfdown are in the parish.
St. Petroc founded a monastery in
Bodmin in the 6th century and
gave the town its alternative name of Petrockstow. The monastery was
deprived of some of its lands at the Norman conquest but at the time
of Domesday still held eighteen manors, including Bodmin,
Bodmin is one of the oldest towns in Cornwall, and the
only large Cornish settlement recorded in the
Domesday Book in
1086. In the 15th century the Norman church of St Petroc was
largely rebuilt and stands as one of the largest churches in Cornwall
(the largest after the cathedral at Truro). Also built at that time
was an abbey of canons regular, now mostly ruined. For most of
Bodmin's history, the tin industry was a mainstay of the economy.
The name of the town probably derives from the Cornish "Bod-meneghy",
meaning "dwelling of or by the sanctuary of monks". Variant
spellings recorded include Botmenei in 1100, Bodmen in 1253, Bodman in
1377 and Bodmyn in 1522. The Bodman spelling also appears in
sources and maps from the 16th and 17th centuries,
most notably in the celebrated map of
Cornwall produced by John Speed
but actually engraved by the Dutch cartographer
Jodocus Hondius the
Elder (1563–1612) in
Amsterdam in 1610 (published in London by
Sudbury and Humble in 1626). It is unclear whether the Bodman spelling
signifies any historical or monastic connection with the equally
ancient settlement of Bodman at the western end of the Bodensee in the
German province of Baden.
An inscription on a stone built into the wall of a summer house in
Lancarffe furnishes proof of a settlement in
Bodmin in the early
Middle Ages. It is a memorial to one "Duno[.]atus son of Me[.]cagnus"
and has been dated from the 6th to 8th centuries.
A Cornish cross on Old Callywith Road
Arthur Langdon (1896) records three Cornish crosses at Bodmin; one was
near the Berry Tower, one was outside
Bodmin Gaol and another was in a
field near Castle Street Hill. There is also
Carminow Cross at a
road junction southeast of the town.
Black Death killed half of Bodmin's population in the mid 14th
century (1,500 people).
Bodmin was the centre of three Cornish uprisings. The first was the
Cornish Rebellion of 1497
Cornish Rebellion of 1497 when a Cornish army, led by Michael An Gof,
a blacksmith from
St. Keverne and Thomas Flamank, a lawyer from
Bodmin, marched to Blackheath in London where they were eventually
defeated by 10,000 men of the King's army under Baron Daubeny. Then,
in the autumn of 1497,
Perkin Warbeck tried to usurp the throne from
Henry VII. Warbeck was proclaimed King Richard IV in
Bodmin but Henry
had little difficulty crushing the uprising. In 1549, Cornishmen,
allied with other rebels in neighbouring Devon, rose once again in
rebellion when the staunchly Protestant Edward VI tried to impose a
new Prayer Book. The lower classes of
Devon were still
strongly attached to the Catholic religion and again a Cornish army
was formed in
Bodmin which marched across the border into
Devon to lay
siege to Exeter. This became known as the Prayer Book Rebellion.
Proposals to translate the Prayer Book into Cornish were suppressed
and in total 4,000 people were killed in the rebellion.
Bodmin Borough Police
The Borough of
Bodmin was one of the 178 municipal boroughs which
under the auspices of the
Municipal Corporations Act 1835
Municipal Corporations Act 1835 was mandated
to create an electable council and a Police Watch Committee
responsible for overseeing a police force in the town. The new system
directly replaced the Parish Constables that had policed the borough
since time immemorial and brought paid, uniformed and accountable law
enforcement for the first time.
Bodmin Borough Police was the
municipal police force for the Borough of
Bodmin from 1836 to 1866.
The creation of the
Cornwall Constabulary in 1857 put pressure on
smaller municipal police forces to merge with the county. The two-man
Bodmin came under threat almost immediately, but it would
take until 1866 for the Mayor of
Bodmin and the Chairman of the Police
Watch Committee to agree on the terms of amalgamation. After a public
enquiry, the force was disbanded in January 1866 and policing of the
borough was deferred to the county from thereon.
The song "
Bodmin Town" was collected from the Cornishman William
Nichols at Whitchurch, Devon, in 1891 by
Sabine Baring-Gould who
published a version in his A Garland of Country Song (1924).
Parish church of St Petroc
Main article: St Petroc's Church, Bodmin
St Petroc's Church
The existing church building is dated 1469–72 and was until the
Truro Cathedral the largest church in Cornwall. The tower
which remains from the original Norman church and stands on the north
side of the church (the upper part is 15th century) was, until the
loss of its spire in 1699, 150 ft high. The building underwent
two Victorian restorations and another in 1930. It is now listed Grade
I. There are a number of interesting monuments, most notably that of
Prior Vivian which was formerly in the Priory Church (Thomas Vivian's
effigy lying on a chest: black
Catacleuse stone and grey marble). The
font of a type common in
Cornwall is of the 12th century: large and
The Chapel of St Thomas Becket is a ruin of a 14th-century building in
Bodmin churchyard. The holy well of St Guron is a small stone building
at the churchyard gate. The Berry Tower is all that remains of the
former church of the Holy Rood and there are even fewer remains from
the substantial Franciscan Friary established ca. 1240: a gateway in
Fore Street and two pillars elsewhere in the town. The Roman Catholic
Abbey of St Mary and St Petroc, formerly belonging to the Canons
Regular of the Lateran was built in 1965 next to the already existing
seminary. The Roman Catholic parish of
Bodmin includes a large
area of North
Cornwall and there are churches also at Wadebridge,
Padstow and Tintagel. In 1881 the Roman Catholic mass was
Bodmin for the first time since 1539. A church was
planned in the 1930s but delayed by the Second World War: the Church
of St Mary and St Petroc was eventually consecrated in 1965: it
was built next to the already existing seminary. There are also
five other churches in Bodmin, including a Methodist church.
Archdeaconry of Bodmin
Main article: Archdeacon of Bodmin
Sites of interest
Bodmin Jail, operational for over 150 years but now a semi-ruin, was
built in the late 18th century, and was the first British prison to
hold prisoners in separate cells (though often up to ten at a time)
rather than communally. Over fifty prisoners condemned at the Bodmin
Assize Court were hanged at the prison. It was also used for
temporarily holding prisoners sentenced to transportation, awaiting
transfer to the prison hulks lying in the highest navigable reaches of
the River Fowey. Also, during the
First World War
First World War the prison held some
of Britain's priceless national treasures including the Domesday Book,
the ring and the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
The Shire Hall
Berry Tower, all that remains of the Chapel of the Holy Rood
Other buildings of interest include the former Shire Hall, now a
tourist information centre, and Victoria Barracks, formerly depot of
the now defunct
Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and now the site of
the regimental museum. It includes the history of the regiment from
1702, plus a military library. The original barracks house the
regimental museum which was founded in 1925. There is a fine
collection of small arms and machine guns, plus maps, uniforms and
paintings on display. The Honey Street drill hall was the mobilisation
point for reservists being deployed to serve on the Western Front.
Bodmin County Lunatic Asylum was designed by John Foulston
and afterwards George Wightwick.
William Robert Hicks the humorist was
domestic superintendent in the mid-19th century.
There is a sizable single storey Masonic Hall in St Nicholas Street,
which is home to no less than seven Masonic bodies.
One & All Lodge No. 330 was consecrated on 8 March 1810, it
currently meets on the second Monday in each month
Beacon Lodge No. 9425 was consecrated on 15 February 1991, it
currently meets on the third Tuesday in February, April, October &
December, and the 4th Tuesday in May
Saint Petrock Royal Arch Chapter No. 330 was consecrated on 11 April
1878, it currently meets on the third Wednesday in January, March,
May, July, September & November
St Nicholas Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1188 was consecrated on 30
March 1955, it currently meets on the third Thursday in February,
April, June, August & October
St Nicholas Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No. 1188 was consecrated on 2
June 1979, it currently meets on the second Thursday in March, May,
September & November
Conclave of Light of the Masonic & Military Order of the Red Cross
of Constantine No. 498 was consecrated on 23 April 2009, it currently
meets on the second Tuesday in January, July & November
Bodiniel Quarry Assemblage of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons
was constituted on 15 October 1988, it currently meets the fourth
Thursday in March and July, and the fourth Friday in November
Bodmin Beacon Local Nature Reserve is the hill overlooking the town.
The reserve has 83 acres (33.6 ha) of public land and at its
highest point it reaches 162 metres with the distinctive landmark
at the summit. The 44-metre tall monument to Sir Walter Raleigh
Gilbert was built in 1857 by the townspeople of
Bodmin to honour
the soldier's life and work in India.
In 1966, the "Finn VC Estate" was named in honour of Victoria Cross
James Henry Finn who once lived in the town. An ornate granite
drinking bowl which serves the needs of thirsty dogs at the entrance
to Bodmin’s Priory car park was donated by Prince Chula Chakrabongse
Thailand who lived at Tredethy.
There are no independent schools in the area.
Voluntary Aided Church of
England Primary School,
Athelstan Park, Bodmin, was given this title in September 1990 after
the amalgamation of St. Petroc's
Infant School and St. Petroc's Junior
School. St. Petroc's is a large school with some 440 pupils between
the ages of four and 11. Eight of its fourteen governors are nominated
by the Diocese of
Truro or the Parochial Church Council of St.
There are a further three primary schools within Bodmin; Berrycoombe
School in the northwest corner of the town, and St. Mary's Catholic
Primary School and Beacon ACE Academy both situated west of the town
centre. Beacon ACE Academy is part of the Atlantic Centre of
Excellence Multi Academy Trust.
Bodmin College is a large state comprehensive school for ages 11–18
on the outskirts of the town and on the edge of
Bodmin Moor. Its
headmaster is Mr Brett Elliott. The college is home to the nationally
Bodmin College Jazz Orchestra", founded and run by the
previous Director of Music, Adrian Evans, until 2007 and more
recently, by the current Director, Ben Vincent. In 1997, Systems &
Control students at
Bodmin College constructed Roadblock, a robot
which entered and won the first series of
Robot Wars and was succeeded
by "The Beast of Bodmin" (presumably named after the phantom cat
purported to roam
Bodmin Moor). The school also has one of the largest
sixth forms in the county.
Callywith College is a
Further Education college in Bodmin, Cornwall,
due to open in September 2017, with applications being accepted from
September 2016. A new-build college on a site close to the
Bodmin Asda supermarket, it will eventually cater for 1,280 students,
with 197 staff employed. A total of 660 places will be available in
its first year. It is being created with the assistance of the
Truro and Penwith College to serve students aged
16–19 from Bodmin, North
Cornwall and East Cornwall. It received the
go-ahead in February 2016, funded as a Free School. Its aim is
to "provide the outstanding
Truro and Penwith College experience for
up to 1280 young people in
Bodmin and North and East Cornwall." 
Army School of Education
Aspirant National Service Sergeant Instructors of the Royal Army
Education Corps underwent training at the Army School of Education,
situated at the end of the
Second World War
Second World War at Buchanan Castle, Drymen
in Scotland, and later, from 1948, at the Walker Lines,
Bodmin, until it moved to Wilton Park, Beaconsfield.
Bodmin Parkway railway station
Bodmin Parkway railway station is a principal calling point on the
Cornish Main Line
Cornish Main Line about 3½ miles (5½ km) south-east of the town
centre. Buses to central Bodmin,
Padstow depart from
outside the station entrance.
Bus and coach services connect
Bodmin with some other districts of
Cornwall and Devon.
Sport and leisure
Bodmin has a non-league football club
Bodmin Town playing in the South
West Peninsula League; a level 10 league in the English football
league system. Their home ground is at Priory Park.
Bodmin Rugby Club
play rugby union at Clifden Parc and compete in the Tribute
Devon league; a level 8 league in the English rugby union
Cornwall Golf Club (now defunct) was located on
It was founded in 1889. The club disbanded following WW2.
There is an active running club:
Cornish Guardian is a weekly newspaper published every Wednesday
in seven separate editions, including the
Bodmin is the home of NCB Radio, an Internet radio station which aims
to bring a dedicated station to North Cornwall.
See also Category:People from Bodmin
John Arnold (1736–1799), watchmaker, of London
John Thomas Blight, artist
Nicholas Boyer, the mayor of Bodmin, hanged for rebellion, 1549
Chula Chakrabongse, philanthropist, Prince of Siam
James Henry Finn, soldier who was awarded the Victoria Cross
Thomas Flamank, lawyer, co-leader of the Cornish Rebellion, 1497
John Gale, Australian journalist
William Hamley, founder of
Alice Hext, garden developer
William Robert Hicks, superintendent of the Asylum
Al Hodge former guitarist with the Cornish band The Onyx
Herman Cyril McNeile, "Sapper", novelist
Cornwall County record holder for the 100m and 400m
Wheelchair racing and ranked best in the world at 800 metres,
having set a new European record.
Sir Arthur Olver, expert in animal husbandry
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, poet, novelist and critic
Dan Rogerson, MP
Rory Simmons, musician
Henry Southwell, vicar of Bodmin, afterwards Bishop of Lewes
Thomas Vivian or Vyvyan, Prior of Bodmin, titular Bishop of Megara
Bodmin is twinned with
Bederkesa in Germany; Grass Valley, in
California, United States; and
Le Relecq-Kerhuon (Ar Releg-Kerhuon in
W. H. Pascoe’s 1979 A Cornish Armory gives the arms of the priory
and the monastery and the seal of the borough.
Seal – a king enthroned; legend: Sigill comune burgensium bodmine
Priory – Azure three salmon naiant in pale Argent
Monastery – Or on a chevron Azure between three lion's heads Purpure
three annulets Or
On Halgaver Moor (Goats' Moor) near
Bodmin there was once an annual
carnival in July which was on one occasion attended by King Charles
II. Halgaver is in the parish of Lanhydrock.
Bodmin Riding, a horseback procession through the town, is a
traditional annual ceremony.
'Beating the bounds' and 'hurling'
William Robert Hicks was mayor of Bodmin, when he revived
the custom of
Beating the bounds
Beating the bounds of the town. He was — according to
Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography — a very good man of business.
This still takes place more or less every five years and concludes
with a game of Cornish hurling. Hurling survives as a traditional part
of beating the bounds at Bodmin, commencing at the close of the
'Beat'. The game is organised by the
Rotary club of
Bodmin and was
last played in 2015. The game is started by the Mayor of
throwing a silver ball into a body of water known as the "Salting
Pool". There are no teams and the hurl follows a set route. The aim is
to carry the ball from the "Salting Pool" via the old A30, along
Callywith Road, then through Castle Street, Church Square and Honey
Street to finish at the Turret Clock in Fore Street. The participant
carrying the ball when it reaches the turret clock will receive a £10
reward from the mayor. In 2015, beating of the bounds and Cornish
hurling took place at
Bodmin 8 April organised by the
Rotary club of
List of topics related to Cornwall
Bodmin NHS Treatment Centre (
Beast of Bodmin
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Newquay & Bodmin
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Doble, G. H. (1965) The Saints of Cornwall: part 4. Truro: Dean and
Chapter; pp. 132–166
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Bodmin - Domesday Book". Retrieved 12 October
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^ Discussion, photo and bibliography in Okasha, Elisabeth (1993).
Corpus of Early Christian Inscribed Stones of South-west Britain.
Leicester: University Press, pp. 126-128
^ He also mentions a fourth cross which is missing, but may have been
the same as the third.--Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses.
Truro: Joseph Pollard; pp. 46, 57, 74 & 227
^ "Black Death". Archived from the original on 25 October 2007.
Retrieved 17 September 2009.
^ Sturt, John (1987) Revolt in the West: the Western Rebellion of
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1974 in Gordon Hitchcock's Songs of the West Country.--Dave Arthur's
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Peter Higginbotham's Workhouse website. Archived from the original on
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Art.deaco.btinternet.co.uk. Archived from the original on 10 October
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Cornwall Masonic Yearbook 2012/13
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baronet (1785–1853)’, rev. Roger T. Stearn, Oxford Dictionary of
National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 1 Jan 2008
^ "New Zealand Cornish Association newsletter" (PDF). Archived from
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^ Beacon ACE Academy
Truro and Penwith College's planned new
Bodmin campus to be named
Callywith College". 23 September 2015.
^ "Controversial college for
Bodmin gets go-ahead". 17
^ "Teenagers keen to join
Callywith College in Bodmin". 20 September
2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
^ "Games Workshop founder and entrepreneur to open 2 free schools -
Press releases - GOV.UK".
^ "New college set for 2017 launch date".
Cornwall Live. 2016-02-03.
^ "New post-16 College planned to be built on land at Bodmin".
Callywith. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
^ "Illiterate Recruits" in The Times (London) (23 August 1947).
^ Colin Day, National Service with the RAEC in
Cornwall Part 1, at
www.colindaylinks.com/dayspast/raec49.html (accessed 7 December 2010).
Cornwall Golf Club", "Golf’s Missing Links".
^ Rowse, A. L. (1941) Tudor Cornwall. London: Jonathan Cape; p. 285
Truro College wheelchair athlete Ben Oliver sets his sights on
competing at 2020 Paralympic Games West Briton". westbriton.co.uk.
2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
^ Cornish Guardian:
Bodmin wheelchair racer breaks European record
Cornish Guardian, accessdate: 23 June 2016
^ Fordham, John (10 February 2011). "Fringe Magnetic – review".
Retrieved 12 October 2016 – via The Guardian.
^ Brown, H. Miles (1964) The Church in Cornwall. Truro: Oscar
Blackford; p. 40
^ "Twinned Towns: 3 Cornish Towns with Surprising Sister Cities". The
Cornish Life. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
^ Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
^ Ordnance Survey One-inch Map of Great Britain;
Launceston, sheet 186. 1961
Bodmin Hurl Rules". Rotary Club of Bodmin. Archived from the
original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
^ "Beating the Town Bounds – Photos". Rotary & Lions Clubs of
Bodmin. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
Henderson, Charles (1935) "Some Notes on
Bodmin Priory", in: Essays in
Cornish History. Oxford: Clarendon Press; pp. 219–28
Maclean, Sir John (1870) Parochial and Family History of the Parish
and Borough of Bodmin, in the County of Cornwall. (Parochial and
Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor; pt. 2.) London: Nichols
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bodmin.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bodmin.
Cornwall District Council. "
Bodmin Beacon Nature Reserve".
Archived from the original on 9 November 2007. Retrieved 31 May
St Petroc's Primary School. "St Petroc's Primary School". Archived
from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
Bodmin OCS. "
Cornwall Society". Archived from the original
on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
"Bodmin". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). 1911.
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Bodmin Town Council services". Archived from the
original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
"A Brief History of Bodmin". Archived from the original on 9 February
2014. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
Bodmin Live". Retrieved 31 May 2009.
North Cornwall's BC Radio
Ceremonial county of Cornwall
Council of the Isles of Scilly
St Columb Major
St Just in Penwith
See also: List of civil parishes in Cornwall
Population of major settlements
Places of interest
Outline of Cornwall
Index of Cornwall-related articles
Civil parishes of North
Forrabury and Minster
St Minver Highlands
St Minver Lowlands
St Stephens by Launceston Rural
St Thomas the Apostle Rural
Week St Mary