Bodmin (Bosvenegh) is a town in Cornwall, United Kingdom, with a population of 12,778 (2001 census). It was the county town of Cornwall, until the Crown Courts moved to Truro, which is also the administrative centre. It is in the North Cornwall district. Its mayor is Cllr Robert "Bob" Micek.
Bodmin lies in the centre of Cornwall, along the western edge of Bodmin Moor
. St. Petroc
founded a priory in Bodmin in the 6th century and gave the town its alternate name of Petrockstow
. Bodmin is one of the oldest towns in the Duchy, and the only Cornish settlement of size recorded in the Domesday Book
of the late 11th century. In the 15th century the Norman church of St. Petroc was heavily rebuilt and stands as one of the largest churches in Cornwall. Also built at that time was an abbey, now mostly ruined. For most of Bodmin's history, the tin
industry was a mainstay of the economy.
Origin of the name
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. Gonion, which St. Petroc took as his site.
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.
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. 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, 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.
Sites of interest
, 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 Fowey. 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 Kingdom
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 make 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.
In 1966, the "Finn VC Estate" was named in honour of Victoria cross winner James Henry Finn who once lived in the Town.
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.
There are no independent schools in the area.
St Petroc's Primary School
St. Petroc's Voluntary Aided Church of England Primary School
Athelstan Park, Bodmin, Cornwall 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 Truro or the Parochial Church Council of St. Petroc's, Bodmin.
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 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.
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".
Bodmin Parkway railway station 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 Railway, runs from Bodmin Parkway station via Bodmin General railway station to Boscarne Junction where there is access to the Camel Trail.