It's tough, it's rough, it's raw, it's rugged, it's Bodmin and it is Cornwall at its wildest. Bodmin, also known as Bodmin Moor, has survived the passage of time for 4,000 years. Over the years Bodmin's history has intrigued historians, its beautiful moorland has inspired poets and its unique blend of everything has aroused our sensory perceptions. Reflecting the centuries that have gone by, Bodmin leads us to believe, it has no beginning and probably no end.
The moorland of Bodmin is the home to the Rough Tor and Brown Willy, two of the highest peaks in Cornwall. The moorland landscape, dominated by heather covered granite, has the unique quality to entice our senses. It roots us to the fundamental principles of nature.
The view of the sweeping granite moorland meeting the endless blue sky, is an experience that touches the core of our being. The moorland experience is difficult to explain, it is an undefinable feeling, and it is something that needs to be experienced. Standing there on a rocky Tor, looking over the moorland, creates an abnormal emptiness, an absolute void that takes us far away from everything and everyone, beyond time and space. It feels like the time has come to a standstill and the past, present or the future doesn't exist any more.
Bodmin is evolution. It has endured the test of time since time immemorial. Researchers believe, Bodmin was a forest land sometime around 10,000 BC. Small groups of people, the original inhabitants of this area, cleared the forest to enable grazing of cattle and make room for hunting. With the advancement of time, forest land was cleared even further to accommodate houses, farming and hunting.
This ancient civilization created banks (a strip of land surrounded by a stone wall) to facilitate dwelling, farming and grazing area for cattle. During the medieval time demarcation of land became more prominent and these ancient banks transformed into what we now know as estates. Since then, till the 19th century, the moor was traditionally used for farming and grazing of livestock.
The parish of St Breward, known for its dramatic scenes, is the starting point of the Camel Trail. The spectacular Camel Trail, is a cycle trail, covering an 11 mile stretch along the banks of Camel River. It links St Breward with Bodmin.
The highest church in Cornwall at a height of 700ft (213.36 m), is also in the parish of St. Breward. The church, carved out of granite, is spectacular. Some other famous structures in St Breward that have been crafted out of local granite are Eddystone Lighthouse, dating to 1882, the Tower Bridge, dating to 1890 and the Beachy Head Lighthouse, dating to 1900.
The highest peaks of Cornwall, the Rough Tor and the Brown Willy also happen to be part of the Cornish village of St Breward.
Standing there capturing every moment of history is the Rough Tor and Brown Willy. Rising to a height of 1,300 ft (ca. 396 m) and 1,360 ft (ca. 415 m) respectively, they are the two highest peaks in Cornwall. On a bright sunny day, both the coasts of Cornwall are visible from the Tors. The view is sensational.
Some interesting archaeological findings on Rough Tor and Brown Willy are ancient monuments from the Bronze Age and a hill fort from the Iron Age. Remains of the Bronze Age settlement like the hut circles, stone circles, ceremonial monuments and field systems, are a result of the findings. There is a considerable amount of medieval time impressions as well, imprinted on both the Tors.
This part of Cornwall gives a large adrenaline rush to the adventure sports enthusiasts. The moorland of Bodmin creates the perfect opportunity for rocky terrain cycling and mountain biking. The rocky edges and steep valley sides of the Cardinham Woods, a 650 acre woodland, is a favourite destination for world-class bikers.
Like a mother holds on to her child, Bodmin holds on to its rich historical heritage. It has an extensive treasure of historical features that include the medieval time granite bridge spanning the De Lank River. Bronze Age cairns on the slopes of Brown Gelly, Neolithic hut circles on Leskernick Hill are some other fascinating archaeological discoveries from this area. In Bodmin, history is everywhere. The village of Blisland boasts of Bronze Age Trippet stones, Stripple Stones Henge and a 10-foot Jubilee Rock.
Minions, a town close to Bodmin, is of special interest to visitors for its attachment with history. Even in the presence of striking historical monuments like the Rillaton Barrow, Daniel Gumb's Cave and the famous Hurler Stone Circles, the most fascinating historical piece of Minions is The Cheesewring. The Cheesewring is a peculiar wind eroded rock formation. It is believed, The Cheesewring is the result of a battle between the saints and the giants.
Accessible from Bolventor, is the serene waters of Siblyback Lake. Famous for its water sports activities, it is one of Cornwall's major tourist attraction. Close to Siblyback Lake is its sister Dozmary Pool, another peacefully charged location, ideal for camping and relaxing.
Enchanting history and radiant natural beauty makes Bodmin unstoppable. Nothing can stop Bodmin from amazing us and nothing can stop us from being a part of the experience. A visit there and rejuvenate your sense's.