A Complete and comprehensive history of the village of St Breward Cornwall,  History of St Breward, Village of St Breward, History of the Cornish village of St Breward, Jackie Freeman, Photgraphs  Photography St Breward, Cornwall , Images of St Breward -

Village of St Breward Cornwall.

Panorama -The village of St Breward in Cornwall 

Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward – Cornwall

St.  Breward

A History of a Cornish  Village

 

Celtic stone circle.

Humble Beginnings

Written by David Freeman

for Secret Britain

 

 

teeped deep in the ancient mists of history lies the ancient Cornish village of St Breward.

 

 Set high above a green and enchanted land of legend and myth, lies the Cornish village of St Breward, nestling like a guardian above a timeless river, the Camel where the valley’s higher western slopes meets the great Moor of Bosvenegh.

 

 

 Here close by, rises the Camel river's moor born tributaries, the ice crystal De Lank, a haven for the playful otter and a world of rare fauna and flora. This too is where the  picture book Jump and the Allen rise, quiet moorland streams where brook & rainbow trout and salmon have spawned since before the dark ages.

 

 Here too within the arms of St Breward can be found ancient holy wells guarded in timeless glades by nymphs and faeries. These are places of great mystical power to which Celtic travellers and ancient pilgrims turned for cure and respite. Surely, saints once passed through this place & trod amongst its sunken paths and mossy walkways.
Legend lives here
amongst the mighty granite walls of St Brewards shield. And beneath her cloak, for those who wish to seek it, if they look closely, find it they shall

 The rare & diverse beauty surrounding this place abounds and has turned the heads and filled the eyes & minds of warriors & poets, of artists and thinkers through the eons.

 St Breward seems timeless, a gentle and secret reminder of the history recorded in its shadows. Take a journey with us through its ancient past and listen to its whispers.

 

Camel River  Wenford Bridge

Camel River at Wenford Bridge; Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward – Cornwall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Well St Breward Cornwall.
Cornish Stone Cross
 

St Breward's Well - Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward – Cornwall

 

 

 

he village of St Breward's is the eternal custodian of two holy wells, not one it seems. The first to be found along an ancient sunken track and in close proximity to an old chapel dedicated to St James.
This fact commonly brings about one of the well's three possible names!
Most things here are named severally it seems!


  A well here in this holy place is first mentioned back in 1422 and is a typically enchanting yet mystical late medieval holy well. However, if not a little confusingly, the well is also known as St Jame's well, Chapel well by many including Norman Lockyer, [1906] and more interestingly, this well is cited in antiquity as St Breward's well too.
So there is certainly room for clarity once and for all here.

In any case and like many holy wells hidden within this captivating landscape, St Breward's well was said to hold magical healing powers and offer up a cure for; "all aylements of the eyees and aforde respite from temporary blindeness."

Church Inscription.
 

Here, lying towards the setting sun just below the village of St Breward, its said that the poor and afflicted alike would commonly drop pins or a farthing if it could be afforded, into it's healing waters as an offering of thanks to the saints who drank here and to propitiate the well's guardian gods and nymphs.


  Now, such well worship was commonplace in Britain in ancient times and the use of pins which held together cloaks and shawls as modest sacrifices to the wells guardians, came about in place of the offering of the actual garments which would have been originally gifted as an inducement to the power of the waters by worshippers.

See a pin, pick it up....
here's perhaps the start of your proverb.

 

 

 

 

 

 Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch, English author and son of Bodmin, was a keen amateur artist who famously recorded the Well at St Breward in 1856 in a drawing, which in turn was engraved by J T Blight and produced in the publication

Cornwall's Holy Wells.

Quiller Couch's drawing St Breward Holy well.

Quiller Couch's drawing of St Breward Holy well.

 

 Mr. Quiller Couch recalls in his account of the time, that the St Breward well at Chapel was dilapidated and makes a rather interesting observation.

 The well is built on the site of an ancient chapel. According to a publication of 1442 called Oliver's Montasticon, there were two chapels in St Breward and this one was dedicated to both St Michael and St James and not to St Breward's saint Brelade. Thus dispelling the myth that the well is named St Breward's well as Western Antiqaury has it.

Clearly there is another by that name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belo

 

St Breward's Holy Well from an engraving published in

Western Antiquary

See; Meyrick, J A Pilgrims Guide to the Holy

wells of Cornwall 1982

Engraving Holy well St Breward.

 

 

he second and more secret holy well in St Breward is much, much harder to find and not talked about, though many are aware of its existence..

 

 Close to the site of the original Celtic Oratory and latterly the beautiful church dedicated to St Brewardus in 1278, it is now hidden amongst dense vegetation, crumbling and unseen. Here is an ancient well head fed by a moorland spring which has all but destroyed its foundations over the millennia, choked its walls and felled its stones. Yet it mush have heard a thousand prayers .

 The well's proximity to the oratory and Church of St Brueredus far down a forgotten roadway, across a purposeful five bar granite style and a huge moss covered granite slab bridge, leads one to imagine if this is indeed the original Holy well of St Breward. A well used for wayside respite by Celtic pilgrims and worshippers of the Norman times. But why unrecorded but by a few?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Breward's second Holy Well?

Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography
St. Breward – Cornwall

Second Holy Well St Breward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

t was to the breathtaking, primordial granite strewn slopes of Bodmin Moor that first came the earliest of Bronze age settlers who hewed the land and homed here. This infinite landscape of staggering yet stark beauty is an unbounded panorama which was  to give birth to great order and structure from within its heart. The mighty granite.

     
     

 

 

 

Roughtor St Breward Cornwall.

Rough Tor - or Roughtor  - St Breward Cornwall: Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward – Cornwall

 

 To this place came the very first Cornish farmers who cleared the forests and heaved and prized the great stone blocks and boulders upon each other to coral and field and invent agriculture.

It is here then, near the bounds and sets of the fine village of St Breward that we began her history.

 

View of Roughtor St Breward Cornwall.

Rough Tor - or Roughtor with dry stone walling - St Breward Cornwall:
Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward – Cornwall

 

 

 

ver the ensuing years, this barren landscape would give up its treasure of modest amounts of copper, silver and tin  being found here, latterly the fine clay being sought from the moors around the village of St Breward at Stannon, destined for the fine china industry. Still evident today as a scar on the landscape.

 

 

   

 

 

 
Village Church St Breward Cornwall.

 

 

aint Breward sits high above the Cornish landscape like an ancient sentinel of forgotten secrets, a bastion and keeper of the moorland stone it's born for aeons.

 

 Some of the largest remaining ancient natural woodlands in Cornwall are to be found alongside the Camel river on whose valley shoulder St Breward perches. Sessile oak, alder, ash, sycamore and grey willow thrive here and invite an abundance of bird life and fauna to stay. Rarely seen kingfisher flash by, darting between sparkling shafts of sunlight and fern filled shadows. Herons stalk the shallows playing I spy with the trout as dragon flies flit between cowslip and ox-eye daisy.

 

 Inevitably, the main focus of St Breward's early village settlement fell to the region around its original Celtic oratory and latter Norman church, on high ground at Churchtown. Where they sensibly raised the granite minster at the highest point of the village,  nearly 800 feet above sea level. This was to be an impressive and dominant vantage point for St Breward's protection and of course for the prayer house to  be nearer to God than any other in Wessex.

 The forgotten Churchtown of St Breward, boasted in its time not only farms and cottages but several shops alongside an 18th century tavern which still exists to this day called the Old Inn. A favoured watering hole for walkers and locals alike. Churchtown also had a separate brewery serving the inn with ale and a lively market place, though no royal charter was ever proclaimed it seems.

 


   
 

Old Inn Churchtown St Breward.

Churchtown. The Old Inn and St Breward Parish church beyond

Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward l

l

The Old Post Office St Breward.

The old shop in Churchtown, St Breward, now near derelict still sports a vintage AA distance sign.

Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward – Cornwall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Glebe Farm St Breward Cornwall.

 

 

ll becomes much clearer about the importance of the early settlement of the St Breward  high ground - later be called Churchtown, when you look back in time as its physical geography.

This place epitomised exactly what this land’s name 'Cornovii,' meant.

 

For the original Cornwallians who ventured here were simply hill dwellers and dwell here at St Breward they did.

   

 

It was but a few of the ancient Stone age travellers who made the land bridge trek to this far northern place  by the moor at St Breward, but some of them did make it here some 5,500 years ago. Evidence of their part in the history and creation of St Breward  has been found and recorded up on the moor close by Churchtown. But it was when the bronze age descended upon us that a very different story was to be told.

 They were the legendary Beaker People, so named because of the odd pottery vessels they buried with their dead. Leaving behind eerie dolmen for us to fathom, bearing the earth bound kneeling bodies of their leaders, secret burial chambers and mênhirs (standing stones) throughout the area to wonder at.


 For these bronze age moorland settlers, life was harsh though there were forests aplenty for the supply of building materials, and peat to stoke the hearths for smelting tin and copper and ore and all were to be found here.

 

 

It is clear that these early settlers cleared much of the forests of the moor leaving it today the barren waste we see. They built great walls of granite boulders and farmed here extensively. Where now the China clay pit at Stannon Downs sits, just to the north of the Parish of St Breward, important evidence of serious bronze age settlement including roundhouses, field walls and burial cairns, each dating back over 2,500 years have been discovered and excavated by archaeologists.

Cattle Stannon Down,  Rough Tor.

Cattle at Stannon Down, near Rough Tor. Cornwall.

Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward – Cornwall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stannon Circle Bodmin Moor.

Stannon circle of standing stones, Bodmin Moor.

Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward – Cornwall

 

 

 

Stannon Stone Circle Bodmin Moor.

 

 or whatever reason the bronze age settlers of Bodmin Moor placed these near 70 granite Stannon stones in a neat circle near St Breward on Dinnever Hill is and will always remain a mystery. With forty of the stones still standing and its main stone aligning exactly with Rougtor's peak where the sunrise equinox lights the circles main stone first, its rather odd that you will be hard pushed to find this incredible forty metre wide monument to the moors Gods in any of the Cornish guide books, local or otherwise.

 Remote and nestling here after 5000 years under the ever watchful eye of its great guardian Rough Tor, you have to fathom at the original intent, be it astrological or simple seasonal worship. But today it occupies other more strange users.

 It is certain that in darker times the Druids regularly practised here and its said, still do. Lights are seen at night here and eerie chants carried on the wind makes it a forboding place at night.

Strange ritualistic offerings of coloured stones, sea shells, twine bound bone and feathers can often be seen placed within the power of the circle. This time placed there perhaps by more modern witches incanting the stones strange magic.
Eerily, whilst I was here taking these photographs, three cars pulled up on the ancient grassy track below me. Stopped, turned and pulled away!

 The great moor of Bodmin hides many such secrets.

Trethevy, the Hurlers and the mystical Trippett stones recorded by John Thomas Blight in the 1850's along with Stripple Stones circle henge close to St Breward are magical places and are recorded here later.

 

 

 

   

The forgotten people who once lived here and now long departed were the forefathers of the village settlement of St Breward and likely the first to lay claim to the high ground at St Breward

called Churchtown.

 

Then came the Celts.

 

 

Celtic Cross Church of St Breward

Celtic Cross Church of St Breward

Watch NEW FULL LENGTH Video:  I left my Heart in Kernow

Photograph © Jackie Freeman Photography - St. Breward – Cornwall

 

 

 

 

Contact Jackie Freeman Photography.  
PART 2 - GO FORWARD TO >

St. Breward a village in History

                                                  PART II

Saint Bruardus & the Parish Church

The Church of St Breward

How St Breward got its name

History of its mines and quarrying in St Breward

Copyright: 2010 Jackie Freeman Photography St Breward Cornwall . All rights reserved

Unauthorized use of the images illustrated is prohibited and protected under international laws of copyright.

 

Watch NEW FULL LENGTH Video:

AWAY HOME

Watch NEW FULL LENGTH Video:

I left my Heart in Kernow

 

 


 

 

 

St Breward Community Visitor & Tourist Information

Cornwall Information - Tourist Guide
   

Doctors surgery at St Breward

GP at St. Breward Surgery

 

Row, St. Breward, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4LN

Telephone : 01208 851194

St Breward Chiropodist Clinic - Village Hall

 

St Breward Parish Council

 

Chairperson : Counsellor Mr. D Lusby

Clerks name and address:

Mrs. A Cornelius

Hantergantick Farm

Hantergantick

St. Breward

BODMIN

PL30 4NH

Telephone: 01208 850954

 

Education in St Breward

 

 

St Breward Primary School

St Breward, Bodmin PL30 4LX

 

Contact : Mrs. S King

Telephone: 01208850547

 

St Breward Toddler Pre-school     

 

Village Hall         

St Breward, BODMIN, Cornwall PL30 4LX

Contact : Miss Caroline Ralph

Telephone: 07711560838

             

Worship in St Breward:

St Breward Parish Church:

Contact Canon Sherry Bryan

The Rectory,  Green Briar, Coombe Lane,

St. Breward, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4LT

Telephone : 01208 851829

 

St. Breward Institute and War Memorial Hall: 

St Breward Village Hall

Churchtown St Breward.

Contact Person: Veronica Stansfield: Telephone number: 01208 850727

 

Retailers in St Breward

ST BREWARD STORES

Row, St Breward, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4LN

Tel: 01208 850260

 

ST BREWARD POST OFFICE

Row, ST. BREWARD

PL30 4LN BODMIN, CORNWALL Telephone number: 01208 850396

 

Public Houses & Restaurants St Breward

The Old Inn and Restaurant

Churchtown, St Breward, Cornwall.

Telephone: 01208 850711

 

Clubs, Societies & Organisations in St Breward

St Breward Youth Club

Organiser Lorraine Kay   

Telephone: 07818 223950

 

 

St Breward AFC Football Club

Penvorder Lane Bodmin PL30 4NY

Telephone: 01208 850526

 

 

St Breward Art Group

St Breward Brownies

St Breward Community Bus Association

St Breward Gardening Club

St Breward History Group

St Breward Women's Institute

All meet in the St. Breward Institute and War Memorial Hall

 

 

St Breward Silver Band

Telephone:  01208 832455

 

St Breward Holiday Accommodation and Self Catering

Bolt Hole

Bolts Quarry Farm

Penvorder Lane - St Breward - Bodmin - Cornwall - PL30 4NY
01208 85159

 

Coombe Mill

St. Breward, Bodmin

Cornwall, PL30 4LZ

Tel: 01208-850344

 

Darrynane Cottages

St Breward, Cornwall PL30 4LZ

Telephone: 01208 850885

 

East Rose Farm Cottages

East Rose, St Breward

Bodmin Cornwall PL30 4NL

Tel: 01208-850674

 

HALLAGENNA FARMHOUSE & COTTAGES

Hallagenna Farmhouse, St Breward

Bodmin, Cornwall  PL30 4NS

01208 851550

 

Higher Lank Farm

St Breward, Bodmin Cornwall PL30 4NB

01208 850716

 

Mellon Farm

St Breward, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, PL30 4PL 

Telephone: 01208 851497

 

Penrose Burden Cottages

St Breward, Bodmin Cornwall PL30 4LZ

Telephone: 01208-850277

 

“Riverdale”

Keybridge, St Breward, Nr Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4QL

Phone:-01208 851390

 

Sandy Barn Cottages

Lower Penquite, St Breward, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, PL30 4LY

01208 850780

 

TREMORCOOMBE

St Breward, Bodmin Moor, North Cornwall, England

01208 851744

 

Widewalls Barn

Widewalls Farm  Bodmin Moor  Cornwall PL32 9PY

Telephone 01840 211 284

Other Self Catering Accommodations in St Breward:

Gambridge Barn, St Breward

Daydream Cottage, St Breward

Palmers Longhouse, St Breward.

Fern Gully, St Breward

Listed and buildings of Historical importance in St Breward: ONGOING Project with St Breward photographs and images.

 

Jackie Freeman Photography Logo. St Breward Cornwall

 

 

 

 

 

 

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