Bodmin Moor (Cornish: Goen Bren) is a granite moorland in northeastern Cornwall, UK, 208 km² (80 sq mile) in size, dating from the Carboniferous period of geological history.
The name "Bodmin Moor" is relatively recent, being an Ordnance Survey invention of 1813. It was formerly known as "Fowey Moor", after the river which rises here.
Dramatic granite tors rise from the rolling moorland Brown Willy being the highest point in Cornwall at 417m (1368 ft) and Rough Tor at 400m (1313 ft).
On the southern slopes of the moor lies Dozmary Pool, where, according to Arthurian legend, Sir Bedivere threw Excalibur to The Lady of the Lake. It is Cornwall's only natural inland lake and is glacial in origin.
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 is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)and has been officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as part of Cornwall AONB.
The moor is the source of a number of the county's main rivers. The River Fowey
rises at a height of 290m and flows through Lostwithiel
and into the Fowey
estuary. The River Camel
rises on Hendraburnick Down and flows for approximately 40km (25 miles) before joining the sea at Padstow
The River Camel and De Lank are an important habitat for the otter and both have been proposed as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
and Siblyback Lake
reservoirs supply water for a large part of the county's population.
10,000 years ago Mesolithic hunter-gatherers
wandered the moor when it was wooded and had a temperate climate.
During the Neolithic
era, from about 4,500 to 2,300 BC, people began clearing trees and farming the land.
More than 200 Bronze Age
settlements with enclosures
and field patterns have been recorded.and many prehistoric stone barrows
lie scattered across the moor.
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 moor.
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 12th August 1844 he was led from Bodmin Gaol and hanged. The murder site now has a momument erected from public money and the grave is at Davidstow churchyard.
- Weatherhill, Craig Cornish Placenames and Language