Coordinates: 50°33′45″N 4°36′48″W / 50.5625°N
4.6132°W / 50.5625; -4.6132
Geological sketch showing
Bodmin Moor (5) in relation to Cornwall's
Bodmin Moor (Cornish: Goon Brenn) is a granite moorland in
northeastern Cornwall, England. It is 208 square kilometres
(80 sq mi) in size, and dates from the
of geological history. It includes Brown Willy, the highest point in
Cornwall, and Rough Tor, a slightly lower peak. Many of Cornwall's
rivers have their sources here. It has been inhabited since at least
Neolithic era, when primitive farmers started clearing trees and
farming the land. They left their megalithic monuments, hut circles
and cairns, and the
Bronze Age culture that followed left further
cairns, and more stone circles and stone rows. By medieval and modern
times, nearly all the forest was gone and livestock rearing
Bodmin Moor is relatively recent, an Ordnance Survey
invention of 1813. The upland area was formerly known as
after the River Fowey, which rises within it.
1.1 Rivers and inland waters
3 History and antiquities
3.1 Prehistoric times
3.2 Medieval and modern times
3.3 Monuments and ruins
4 Legends and traditions
6 See also
8 External links
Bodmin Moor is one of five granite plutons in
Cornwall that make up
part of the Cornubian batholith (see also
Geology of Cornwall).
Dramatic granite tors rise from the rolling moorland: the best known
are Brown Willy, the highest point in
Cornwall at 417 m
(1,368 ft), and
Rough Tor at 400 m (1,300 ft). To
Kilmar Tor and
Caradon Hill are the most prominent
hills. Considerable areas of the moor are poorly drained and form
marshes (in hot summers these can dry out). The rest of the moor is
mostly rough pasture or overgrown with heather and other low
The moor contains about 500 holdings with around 10,000 beef cows,
55,000 breeding ewes and 1,000 horses and ponies. Most of the moor
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI),
North, and has been officially designated an Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty (AONB), as part of
Cornwall AONB. Almost a third of
Cornwall has AONB designation, with the same status and protection as
a National Park. The moor has been identified by BirdLife
International as an
Important Bird Area
Important Bird Area (IBA) because it supports
about 260 breeding pairs of European stonechats as well as a wintering
population of 10,000 Eurasian golden plovers. The moor has also
been recognised as a separate natural region and designated as
national character area 153 by Natural England.
Rivers and inland waters
De Lank River
De Lank River at Garrow Tor
Bodmin Moor is the source of several of Cornwall's rivers: they are
mentioned here anti-clockwise from the south.
River Fowey rises at a height of 290 m (950 ft) and
Lostwithiel and into the
River Tiddy rises near Pensilva and flows southeast to its
confluence with the
River Lynher (the Lynher flows generally
south-east until it joins the
Hamoaze near Plymouth). The River Inny
Davidstow and flows southeast to its confluence with the
River Camel rises on Hendraburnick Down and flows for
approximately 40 km (25 mi) before joining the sea at
River Camel and its tributary the
De Lank River
De Lank River are
an important habitat for the otter, and both have been proposed as
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) The
De Lank River
De Lank River rises near
Roughtor and flows along an irregular course before joining the Camel
south of Wenford.
Warleggan rises near Temple and flows south to join the
On the southern slopes of the moor lies Dozmary Pool. It is Cornwall's
only natural inland lake and is glacial in origin. In the 20th century
three reservoirs have been constructed on the moor; these are
Colliford Lake, Siblyback Lake and Crowdy reservoirs, which supply
water for a large part of the county's population. Various species of
waterfowl are resident around these waters.
Rivers south of
Rivers southeast of
Rivers northwest of
Church in St Neot
The parishes on the moor are as follows:
History and antiquities
King Arthur's Hall
10,000 years ago, in the
Mesolithic period, hunter-gatherers wandered
the area when it was wooded. There are several documented cases of
flint scatters being discovered by archaeologists, indicating that
these hunter-gatherers practised flint knapping in the region.
Neolithic era, from about 4,500 to 2,300 BC, people began
clearing trees and farming the land. It was also in this era that the
production of various megalithic monuments began, predominantly long
cairns (three of which have currently been identified, at Louden,
Catshole and Bearah) and stone circles (sixteen of which have been
identified). It was also likely that the naturally forming tors were
also viewed in a similar manner to the manmade ceremonial sites.
In the following Bronze Age, the creation of monuments increased
dramatically, with the production of over 300 further cairns, and more
stone circles and stone rows. More than 200
Bronze Age settlements
with enclosures and field patterns have been recorded. and many
prehistoric stone barrows and circles lie scattered across the moor.
In a programme shown in 2007 Channel 4's
Time Team investigated a
500-metre cairn and the site of a
Bronze Age village on the slopes of
King Arthur's Hall, thought to be a late
Neolithic or early Bronze Age
ceremonial site, can be found to the east of
St Breward on the
Medieval and modern times
Hawk's Tor, west of North Hill
Where practicable, areas of the moor were used for pasture by herdsmen
from the parishes surrounding the moor.
Granite boulders were also
taken from the moor and used for stone posts and to a certain extent
for building (such material is known as moorstone). Granite
quarrying only became reasonably productive when gunpowder became
The moor gave its name (Foweymore) to one of the medieval districts
called stannaries which administered tin mining: the boundaries of
these were never defined precisely. Until the establishment of a
turnpike road through the moor (the present A30) in the 1770s the size
of the moorland area made travel within
Cornwall very difficult.
Its Cornish name, Goen Bren, is first recorded in the 12th
English Heritage monographs "
Bodmin Moor: An Archaeological Survey"
Volume 1 and Volume 2 covering the post-medieval and modern landscape
are publicly available through the
Archaeology Data Service.
Monuments and ruins
Roughtor was the site of a medieval chapel of St Michael and is now
designated as a memorial to the 43rd Wessex Division of the British
Army. In 1844 on
Bodmin Moor the body of 18-year-old Charlotte Dymond
was discovered. Local labourer Matthew Weeks was accused of the
murder, and at noon on 12 August 1844 he was led from
Bodmin Gaol and
hanged. The murder site now has a monument erected from public money,
and the grave is at
Legends and traditions
Dozmary Pool is identified by some people with the lake in which,
according to Arthurian legend, Sir
Excalibur to The
Lady of the Lake. Another legend relating to the pool concerns Jan
Beast of Bodmin
Beast of Bodmin has been reported many times but never identified
Cornish Cowboy, a 2014 short documentary film screened at the 2015
Cannes Film Festival, was shot on
Bodmin Moor. The film
features the work of St Neot horse trainer, Dan Wilson.
List of topics related to Cornwall
Brown Willy effect
The Cheesewring, a granite tor on the southern edge of
A wild horse on
^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of
place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel Archived 15 May 2013 at
the Wayback Machine.. Cornish Language Partnership.
^ Pounds, Norman John Greville (2000). A History of the English
Parish: the culture of religion from Augustine to Victoria. Cambridge
University Press. p. 593. ISBN 978-0-521-63351-2. ; p.
^ Charoy, B (1986). "Genesis of the Cornubian Batholith (South West
England): the example of the Carnmenellis Pluton". Journal of
Petrology; Oxford: OUP. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
^ "GENUKI: Cornwall". Genuki.org.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
^ a b "
Bodmin and Launceston". Sheet 186, One-inch map of England and
Wales. Ordnance Survey. Missing or empty url= (help)
Bodmin Moor: Landscape and features". South Penquite Farm.
Retrieved 13 August 2016.
Bodmin Moor Pages ~ The History". Bodminmoor.co.uk. Retrieved
27 November 2014.
Bodmin Moor, North" (PDF). Natural England. 1991. Archived from the
original (PDF) on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
^  Archived 27 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
Bodmin Moor". Important Bird Areas factsheet. BirdLife
International. 2013. Archived from the original on 10 July 2007.
^  Archived 7 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
Cornwall Rivers Project - Geography -
Fowey and Lerryn".
Cornwallriversporject/org.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
^ a b "The Rivers of
Bodmin Moor". South Penquite Farm. Retrieved 13
Cornwall Rivers Project - Geography - Camel and Allen".
Cornwallriversproject.org.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
^ "The Rivers of
Bodmin Moor - The
Bodmin Moor Pages".
Bodminmoore.co.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
^ Bere, Rennie (1982) The Nature of Cornwall. Buckingham: Barracuda
Books, pp. 63-67
^ a b c Tilley, C. (1996). World Archaeology: The Power of Rocks:
landscape and topography on
Bodmin Moor. pp. 151–176.
^ "Programmes - All - Channel 4". Channel 4. Retrieved 27 November
Bodmin Moor, Cornwall". Channel 4: Time Team. 8 April 2007.
Retrieved 9 November 2009.
^ "Secret cornwall -
Bodmin moor and its environs".
Whitedragon.org.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
^ Clifton-Taylor, A. "Building materials" in: Pevsner, N. (1970)
Cornwall. 2nd ed. Penguin Books, p. 29-34
^ "County: [Cornwall]. Description of Courts: Manorial Courts. Places:
Foweymore (Foymore)..." heNational Archives. Retrieved 13 August
^ Weatherhill, Craig (2009) A Concise Dictionary of Cornish
Place-names. Westport, co. Mayo: Evertype; p. 6
^ Bonney, D., Johnson, N., Rose, P. (2008) "
Bodmin Moor An
archaeological survey Volume 1: The human Landscape c.1800" English
^ Giles, C., Herring, P., Johnson, N., Sharpe, A., Smith, J. (2008)
Bodmin Moor An Archaeological survey Volume 2: The industrial and
post-medieval landscapes" English Heritage.
^ "The Murder of Charlotte Dymond". Parmaq.com. Retrieved 27 November
^ Cornish Archaeology; No 34, 1995
Beast of Bodmin
Beast of Bodmin Moor". Natural History Museum. Archived from
the original on 7 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
^ "CORNISH COWBOY". sub.festival-cannes.fr. Retrieved
Bodmin Moor horse whisperer featured in movie". [permanent
Weatherhill, Craig (1995) Cornish Place Names & Language.
Wilmslow: Sigma Leisure ISBN 1-85058-462-1
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bodmin.
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
Biological Sites of
Special Scientific Interest in
Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly
Summarised data for all sites (biological and geological)
Aire Point to Carrick Du
Baulk Head to Mullion
Bedruthan Steps and Park Head
Boconnoc Park and Woods
Bodmin Moor, North
Borlasevath and Retallack Moor
Boscastle to Widemouth
Cabilla Manor Wood
Caerthillian to Kennack
Carricknath Point to Porthbean Beach
Carrine Common & Penwethers
Coverack to Porthoustock
East Lizard Heathlands
Gerrans Bay to Camels Cove
Godrevy Head to St Agnes
Goss and Tregoss Moors
Greenscoombe Wood, Luckett
Gwithian to Mexico Towans
Hayle Estuary & Carrack Gladden
Kennack to Coverack
Kernick and Ottery Meadows
Lower Bostraze and Leswidden
Lower Fal & Helford Intertidal
Meneage Coastal Section
Mullion Cliff to Predannack Cliff
Phoenix United Mine
Plymouth Sound Shores And Cliffs
Polruan to Polperro
Porthgwarra to Pordenack Point
Rame Head & Whitsand Bay
Redlake Meadows & Hoggs Moor
River Camel Valley and Tributaries
Rosenannon Bog and Downs
St Austell Clay Pits
St John's Lake
St Nectan's Glen
Steeple Point to Marsland Mouth
Tregonetha & Belowda Downs
Trevose Head and Constantine Bay
Upper Fal Estuary and Woods
Isles of Scilly
Big Pool and Browarth Point
Castle Down (Tresco)
Higher Moors and
Porth Hellick Pool
Pentle Bay, Merrick And Round Islands
Plains and Great Bay
Pool Of Bryher & Popplestone Bank
Rushy Bay and Heathy Hill
Shipman Head & Shipman Down
St Martin's Sedimentary Shore
Special Scientific Interest in Devon
Special Scientific In