Bodmin

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Bodmin is one of the oldest towns in Cornwall and although small and quite understated it has been at the heart of some of the county’s pivotal moments in history. For example Bodmin was the location for the start of the Cornish Rebellion in 1497 which saw an incredible 15,000 men from the county of Cornwall march to London. It was also in Bodmin where the pretender to the throne, Perkin Warbeck became proclaimed as King Richard IV, and where in that very same year of 1549 another rebellion, the prayer book rebellion took hold. Though in Bodmin today you will see little to tell you of the town’s important and intriguing past. Today you will find Bodmin to be a peaceful place filled with wonderful granite buildings which offer a clue to the regions importance in the tin mining industry of the region during the 19th century. A visit to the old courtrooms is a must, as well as the old jail which is reputed to be haunted.

Photo by Ben Salter
Photo by Ben Salter

Things To Do

Hire a bike and cycle to the coast following the Camel Trail, or if that sounds a little too energetic, turn detective and step into history, to 1844 to be exact, to solve a crime from the Victorian era in the Shire Hall Courtroom Experience. Be in the court room for the re-enactment of the murder trial of Matthew Weekes, listen to the testimonies and view the evidence then see if you agree with the decision of the court. Those with a love of all things military will enjoy the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry Museum which charts the history of this regiment from 1702 through to World War II. For a visit to give you shivers visit what was once the county’s high security prison – the last prisoner was executed at Bodmin Jail in 1909.  It is not an attraction for the faint hearted as there are rumoured to be some spectral inmates still in residence.

Places To Visit

Everywhere you could want to visit in Bodmin is all easily located within a short walking distance of each other, making Bodmin the perfect place to visit as once you have parked your car you won’t need to move it until it’s time to leave. You can make the walk even more fun by popping into some of the bars and cafes that you pass between locations. Next to the Shire Hall where the trial re-enactment is carried out, is Bodmin Museum which offers an insight into what life was like here in centuries past, as well as information on local wildlife which the children will love.

Passing spooky old Bodmin Jail you will next come to St Petrocs Church, the largest of all of the parish churches in the county. Around a ten minute walk from the church is the Light Infantry Museum and the Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway. Ride the steam train through the beautiful countryside for an excursion that every member of the family will love.  And time your visit right and you could be there in time for the Paddington Bear weekend!

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