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Bodmin ( ) is a town in Cornwallmarker, United Kingdommarker, with a population of 12,778 (2001 census). It was the county town of Cornwall, until the Crown Courts moved to Truromarker, which is also the administrative centre. It was in Triggshiremarker and the district of North Cornwallmarker. Its mayor is Cllr Robert "Bob" Micek. (Before 1835 the county town was at Launcestonmarker.)

Situation and origin of the name

Bodmin lies in the centre of Cornwall, south-west of Bodmin Moormarker. It has been suggested that the town's name comes from an archaic word in the Cornish "bod" (meaning a dwelling; the later word is "bos") and a contraction of "menegh" (monks). It may however refer to an earlier monastic settlement instituted by St. Guron, which St. Petroc took as his site. Guron is said to have departed to St Goranmarker on the arrival of Petroc.

History

St. Petroc founded a monastery in Bodmin in the 6th century and gave the town its alternative name of Petrockstow. The monastery was deprived on some its lands at the Norman Conquest but at the time of Domesday still held 18 manors, including Bodmin, Padstow and Rialton. Bodmin is one of the oldest towns in Cornwall, and the only large Cornish settlement recorded in the Domesday Book of the late 11th century. 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 Canon Regular abbey, now mostly ruined. For most of Bodmin's history, the tin industry was a mainstay of the economy.

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 sixth to eighth centuries.

The Black Death killed half of Bodmin's population in the mid 14th century (1500 people).

Rebellions

Bodmin was the centre of three Cornish uprisings. The first was the Cornish Rebellion of 1497 when a Cornish army, led by Michael An Gof, a blacksmith from St. Kevernemarker. 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, a man named 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. Finally, in 1549, Cornishmen rose once again in rebellion when the staunchly Protestant Edward VI tried to impose a new Prayer Book. Cornish people were still strongly attached to the Catholic religion and again a Cornish army was formed in Bodmin which marched across the border to lay siege to Exeter in Devon. 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.

Churches

Parish church of St Petroc

The existing church building is dated 1469-72 and was until the building of 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 finely carved.

Other churches

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 celebrated in Bodmin for the first time since 1539. A church was planned in the 1930s but delayed by the War: the Church of St Mary and St Petroc was eventually consecrated in 1965: it was built next to the already existing seminary.

Archdeaconry of Bodmin

The archdeaconry is one of two in the Anglican Diocese of Truromarker and includes the eastern part of the diocese. The following deaneries are within the archdeaconry: Bodmin, East Wivelshire, Stratton, Trigg Major, Trigg Minor and West Wivelshire. It was established in 1878 two years after the Diocese of Truromarker by dividing the Archdeaconry of Cornwall.

Sites of interest

Institutions

Bodmin Gaolmarker, 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 10 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 Foweymarker. Also, during World War I the prison held some of Britain's priceless national treasures including the Domesday Book, the ring and the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdommarker.

Other buildings of interest include the former Shire Hall, now a tourist information centre, and the Regimental Barracks of the now defunct Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, now a regimental museum. It includes the history of the regiment from 1702, plus a military library. The original barracks house the regimental museum and it was founded in 1925. There is a fine collection of small arms and machine guns, plus maps, uniforms and paintings on display.

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.

Other sites

The 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.

In 1966, the "Finn VC Estate" was named in honour of Victoria cross winner James Henry Finn who once lived in the town. Langdon (1896) records six crosses in the parish of which the finest is at Carminow. 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 of Thailand who lived at Tredethy.

Education

There are no independent schools in the area.

Primary Schools

St. Petroc's Voluntary Aided Church of England Primary School[431] Athelstan Park, Bodmin, Cornwallmarker 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 eleven. Eight of its fourteen governors are nominated by the Diocese of Truromarker or the Parochial Church Council of St. Petroc's, Bodmin.

There are a further three primary (or elementary) schools within Bodmin; Berrycoombe School in the north west corner of the town, St. Mary's Catholic Primary School and Robartes Primary Junior School, both situated west of the town centre.

Bodmin College

Bodmin Collegemarker is a large state comprehensive school for ages 11–18 on the outskirts of the town and on the edge of Bodmin Moormarker. Its headmaster is Mr Robert Mitchell. The College is home to the nationally acclaimed "Bodmin College Jazz Orchestra", run by former Director of Music at the school Adrian Evans.[432]

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 Moormarker).

Transport

Bodmin Parkway railway stationmarker is served by main line trains and is situated on the Cornish Main Line about 3½ miles (5½ km) south-east from the town centre. A heritage railway, the Bodmin and Wenford Railwaymarker, runs from Bodmin Parkway station via Bodmin General railway stationmarker to Boscarne Junction where there is access to the Camel Trail. The bus link to Bodmin, Wadebridgemarker and Padstowmarker starts from outside the main entrance of Bodmin Parkway.

Bus and coach services connect Bodmin with other districts of Cornwall and Devon.

Media

The Cornish Guardian is a weekly newspaper: it is published in 7 separate editions, including the Bodmin edition.

Notable people

See also :Category:People from Bodmin

Town twinning



Official heraldry

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


Official events

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.In 1865–66 William Robert Hicks was mayor of Bodmin, when he revived the custom of beating the bounds of the town. He was--according to the Dictionary of National Biography--a very good man of business. This still takes place every five years and includes a game of Cornish hurling.Bodmin Riding is a traditional annual ceremony.

See also



Notes



External links




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