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The parish of Bodmin (Cornish: Bosvenegh), including the municipal borough, is situated in the Deanery of Trigg Minor and the Hundred of Trigg, in the centre of the county. It is bounded on the east by Cardinham, on the south by Lanhydrock and Lanivet, on the west by Withiel, St Breock and Egloshayle, and on the north by Helland. The parish is probably named after the Old Cornish for 'Dwelling near the Church'. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Bodmine. Many Guilds were quartered in Bodmin; many having their own chapels and places of worship. In 1179, the burgesses paid a fine of one hundred shillings for mis-reprenting themselves and for setting up a Guild without licence. The Guildhall is still in Fore Street.

The town of Bodmin is the County Town of Cornwall, although the City of Truro is now the administrative Capital and thus the de facto County Town. The town formerly housed a Jail (built in 1779), and the County Assizes were held here. Bodmin was also formerly the registry for wills, and index to these registers are held in the various libraries and record offices across the Duchy. It is a market town which is situated in a small valley in roughly the centre of Cornwall. Its earliest Charter was confirmed in 1285 by King Edward I. A number of insurrections have taken place in the town and in 1497, Thomas Flamanck and Michael An Gof led a rebellion against the taxes imposed by Parliament to fund the war with Scotland. They marched with their followers to London and after a battle were taken prisoner and executed for their 'crimes'. In the same year a pretender to the Throne of England, Perkin Warbeck, had himself proclaimed Richard IV at Bodmin. During the Civil War the town was held by both sides at various times. The town is basically one main street with others leading off. there is a large obelisk on Beacon hill called the Gilbert Monument. Bodmin is said to have been one of the old coinage towns which had the priviledge of stamping tin, but this appears to have been lost before 1347. The town has a small railway which is now privately run; details of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway are available. The area is hilly with wooded valleys around the town and a number of small villages and hamlets. Farming and tourism are the main industries.

The County Lunatic Asylum, built in 1820 and now called the St Lawrence's Hospital, is located within the parish about a mile from the church, to the west of the town (see also under Medical Records below).

In 2001, Bodmin was enumerated under two civil parishes: St Mary and St Petroc.

Most parish and church description(s) on these pages are from Lake's Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 - 1873)

Archives and Libraries


A Municipal Cemetery, situated at the top of Rhind Street, belongs to the town, but there are no Mortuary chapels.

The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for:


Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held in the Cornwall Record Office. The Cornwall Family History Society offers a census search service for its members. The Cornwall Family History Society have also published on-line census detail by surname on the FamilyHistoryonLine site.

Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:

Church History

Church Records

Civil Registration

The parish of Bodmin is in the Bodmin Registration District, and has been since 1st July 1837; there were sub-districts are Bodmin, Egloshayle, Lanlivery and St Mabyn but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Blisland, Bodmin, Bodmin Borough, Cardinham, Egloshayle, Endellion, Helland, Lanhydrock, Lanviet, Lanlivery, Lostwithiel, Luxulion, St. Kew, St. Mabyn, St. Minver Highlands, St. Minver Lowlands, St. Tudy, St. Winnow, Temple, Wadebridge, Warleggon, Withiel.

The Superintendant Registrar of Bodmin can be contacted at: Lyndhurst, 66 Nicholas Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2AG. Tel: 01208 73677.

Correctional Institutions

Description & Travel



Historical Geography

The Domesday Settlements of Cornwall, a study undertaken by the Cornwall Branch of the Historical Association, has identified and located settlements listed in the Exeter and Exchequer Domesday Survey of AD 1086. The following places have been identified in Bodmin ecclesiastical parish:


Lancarffe. The manor of Lancarffe or Lancoff, held of the honor of Bodmin, or of S. Petrock, belonged, temp. Richard II, and for several years afterwards, to the family of Whalesborough, who then held it under the Bevilles; it is now in severalties. In the XVth century the barton belonged to the family of Opie; afterwards successively to the Crossmans and Bullocks. It was purchased of the latter family, in 1685, by John Mounsteven, Esq., secretary to the Earl of Sunderland, when secretary of state; his descendant, Mr. Hender Mounsteven sold it in 1787, to Francis John Hext, Esq., father of Admiral William Hext, of Tredethy, the present proprietor. The mansion has latterly been occupied as a farm house. (From a History of Cornwall (pg. 99).


Medical Records

Archived mental health records from St Lawrence's Hospital for the period 1860s to 1983 are in the Cornwall Record Office. These comprise minute books, financial papers, patient admission, discharge and treatment records, and archives of the hospital farm. However, much of the information is protected under Data Protection legislation.


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.


  • Population in 1801 - 1951 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 2050 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 2902 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 3375 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 4205 persons in Bodmin parish,
    plus 165 persons in Bodmin Asylum,
    195 persons in Bodmin Gaol,
    94 persons in Bodmin Union Workhouse
  • Population in 1851 - 4327 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 4466 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 4672 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 5061 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 5151 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 5353 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 5734 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 5526 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 5608 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 6057 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 6214 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 9207 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 12195 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 12640 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 12881 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 14543 persons

Religion and Religious Life

In the May of 1641 it was agreed and ordered that every Member of the House of Commons and House of Lords should make a protestation (declaration of loyalty) to the crown. The Protestation was printed and then distributed by the Members to their counties. The Protestation was to be made by everyone and the Rectors, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, had to appear before the Justices of the Peace in their Hundred to make their protestation and, on returning to their parishes, any two of them were to witness the taking of the Protestation Oath by all males over the age of 18 years. All names were listed and anyone who refused was to be noted.

The Protestation Returns of 1642 for Bodmin are available on-line.


The Bodmin Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.


The parish comprised 3395 acres of land and 22 acres of water.

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