First farmed over 4000 years ago by bronze age settlers Bodmin Moor is of one the last great unspoilt areas in the South West and much of its prehistoric and medieval past remains untouched by the passing of the centuries.
The Moor is dominated by dramatic granite tors which tower over the sweeping expanses of open moorland. Marshes and bogs on the high moor drain into shallow moorland valleys before the rivers cross onto softer shales around the Moor and carve themselves deep river valleys, providing shelter for rich, damp oak woodland Visit the Bodmin Moor Website
This moorland village is situated in a steep sided valley and is home to a wonderful 15th century parish church, often refered to as 'The Catherdal of the Moors' Dedicated to St Nonna, the church has a 108 ft pinnacled tower that rises high above the river below.
Inside it is light and airy with featues ranging from Norman times through to the 16th centuary bench end carvings.
By the church gate is to be found a very fine celtic cross, probably dating back to the 6th century, the time of St Nonna herself.
The waters of the nearby St Nonna's well were thought to cure madness and after immersion into the water, patients were carried into the church for mass. The process was repeated untill there were signs of improvement!!
The village of Blisland lies about 5 miles east of Bomin hidden in a maze of country lanes. The village is a scenic gem with a wonderful Norman church, an excellent Pub offering fine Ale and a number of interesting stone buildings around a village green. This Saxon feature is rather unique in Cornwall but it does add greatly to the village's overall appeal.
There are 360 stone wayside crosses in Cornwall of which seven are to be found in Blisland. Most are of pagan origin but were embellished with crosses when Christianity was introduced into Cornwall. Visit the Blisland website
The name Bodmin is generally interpreted as "dwelling of or by the sanctuary of monks" from the Cornish "Bod-meneghy". Bod is the Cornish word for abode or dwelling. By the time of the Domesday survey in 1086 Bodmin had become the most important religious centre in Cornwall, with the shrine housing the relics of St Petroc a focal point for pilgrims. Bodmin was then the largest town in the county, with a market and 68 dwellings. In the reign of Edward I in 1285 Bodmin became a Borough. As well as being the religious centre of Cornwall Bodmin was also the most important tin market (stannary), tin streaming was carried out all around Bodmin Moor.
The Camel Trail, suitable for wheelchairs, connects Bodmin to Wadebridge and Padstow. It was created by Cornwall County Council on the bed of a disused railway and runs alongside the river Camel from Poley's Bridge to the Padstow Estuary.
An historical attraction worth a visit is Bodmin Gaol built in 1778. The Gaol was once the County Prison, notorious for its cramped conditions and public hangings, the last of which took place in 1909. Exhibits include re-creations of notable prisoners with details of their crimes and the sentences they faced.
Cardinham itself has a fine church dedicated to St Meubred who was an Irish missionary who came over to preach to the moorland folk but ended up being beheaded in Rome (his body was returned to the parish and buried here).Cardinham Castle is a fortress built in 1080 and can be visited with permission of the landowner.
Cardinham Forest 250 hectares of mixed woodland set within a complex series of impressive steep valleys and narrow ravines. A car park an all ability trail and a play area are available together with a woodland cafe that provides excellent refreshments.
Boasting the highest pub in Cornwall, this moorland village was a thriving mining centre during the 19th and early 20th centuries with miners and quarrymen extracting granite, copper and lead from the surrounding area. It was also the setting for EV Thompson's novel - Chase the Wind.
One of the old engine houses has now become - Minions Heritage Centre. It covers over 4000 years of life on the moors, including the story of the mining along with information about much earlier inhabitants.
St Neot sits in a sheltered valley on the edge of the Moors, with the River Loveny running through the village. The name Loveny is believed to derive from the Cornish "lowenhe" meaning to rejoice or to comfort. There is a post office, general store and a pottery, and the Celtic church is worth a visit. Look for the oak branch atop the roof of the tower which is renewed every Oak Apple Day to commemorate the village's support of the Royalist cause during the Civil War.