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Bodmin- the town of hidden depths
Bodmin in General
Member Name: mummy2twogirls
Bodmin in General
Advantages: so much to see and do
Disadvantages: a very historial town, so not to everyones liking
This year i went on holiday, down south to the beautiful county of Cornwall. We had done lots of research into different places to stay in Cornwall but in the end decided on a little town called Bodmin. Because it was central to a lot of main attractions we had planned to visit.
With myself, my partner, my partners dad and our two daughters in tow, we set off, and after a 5 hour journey arrived in Bodmin. Our first initial reaction was how quite and peaceful the town was, we drove around for ten minutes and noted how it was your simple run of the mill town, with a few major shops, banks, cafes, pubs and restaurant.
What did catch our eye was the huge church that took pride of place in the middle of the town, This is called St Petroc's church, and we later found out that it is the largest parish church in Cornwall, and was built between 1469-1472. But as it was getting late we decided to retreat to our holiday park we where booked into just outside of Bodmin and call it night, after all we did have two weeks to explore what else Bodmin and other surrounding areas had to offer.
During the next two weeks we visited all the places that makes Bodmin such a special yet a unique and historical town, we visited 'Bodmin jail' that has very dark and sinister past which has made it popular with tourists and ghost-hunters alike. It was built in 1776 and is a huge ominous and foreboding stone building being the first jail to hold inmates in individual cells and famously carried out grisly public executions by hanging until 1862, 55 in total! It finally closed it's doors in 1927 since then has become a popular tourist attraction with fascinating exhibitions telling of the 150 years of torture and punishment which took place in this dark and mysterious place. Plus the Domesday book was held here.
Bodmin moor is another widely famous attraction, first farmed over 4000 years ago and is the last of the great unspoilt areas in the South West and much of its prehistoric and medieval past remains untouched by the passing of the centuries. It is mainly dominated by dramatic granite tors which tower over the sweeping expanses of open moorland, Historically, Bodmin Moor was a landscape which engendered fear and awe, but which has also provided inspiration for writers, poets and sculptors. It has generated folklore and legend, with fact and fiction at times blending into one another as tales were passed down over the generations, one of those being about the 'beast of bodmin'.
This is a hit with walkers and hikers, as although being a small moor only covering 10miles by 10miles, there is plenty to see.
Another attraction that we found fascinating, that i wanted to mention was the 'Bodmin and Wenford railway' Cornwall's only standard gauge railway still operated by steam locomotives, they do wonderful 13 mile day trips though some beautiful Cornish scenery, and first opened back in 1834. The trains are beautiful, and do cost a lot to run, thats why they have set up a 'Cornish Steam Locomotive Preservation Society' to help keep and preserve the trains, which also gives members of the public a chance to donate as well.
The main station is located in Bodmin, this is where the engine sheds are, there is also a souvenir shop and a small cafe offering refreshments for before and after your journey.
The Bodmin town museum, plays host to some very interesting local history regarding Bodmin, using photographs, text and artefact's, in displays showing rocks and minerals, WWI and WWII showcases, model forge, agricultural implements, a Cornish kitchen (Victorian), Bardic robe, law and order, wildlife, railways, local worthies, medieval church exhibits, Victorian and fire service including 1770 fire engine. Although the museum isn't overly big, there is plenty to look at and do, and it really does give you a great insight into the history of Bodmin.
Staying in Bodmin, really opened my eyes, to how much of a historical town it really is, when you first arrive in Bodmin it can seem very dreary and that theres not much to do, but if you look beneath the surface there is so much more to offer, and it made our holiday a really enjoyable experince.
Summary: Visit bodmin, and be amazed at it's history