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24 Common-Councilmen, who elect two Members of Parliament, which number has been returned from hence ever since 1295. The Summer Assizes and Quarter Sessions are held here, and a handsome County Gaol and Bridewell, on the plan recommended by Mr. Howard, was erected about 30 years ago, at a short distance from the town.
Bodmin derives some degree of interest from having been the head-quarters of the Cornish rebels in 1496; and here also, in 1498, Perkin Warbeck assem. bled a body of 3000 men, and advanced to the attack of Exeter. In the insurrection of 1549, it was again one of the principal seats of disturbance*; and in the Civil War was alternately occupied by each party, until 1646, when Fairfax finally took possession.
The Priory is said to have been established as early as the sixth century, but appears to have been at that time little more than a hermitage, inhabited by a few recluses, at the head of whom was St. Petroc; in 926 a larger Monastery was founded by Athelstan, which, with some interruption, continued until the Dissolution, when its yearly income was estimated at £270: the site and demesnes were granted to Thomas Sternhold, the well-known translator of the Psalms; we may suppose as a reward for his exceilent poetry. The Convent of this town has been already mentioned; and of the other religious establishments, almost the only vestige existing is the ruinous tower of St. Paul's, or Bery Chapel, on a hill to the north of the town.
The Church, dedicated to St. Petroc, is the largest in the county, and is situated on a rising, ground near the north-east end of the own. It is about 123 feet in length, 60 feet wide, and consists of three aisles, with a tower on the north side, surmounted by pinnacles. This edifice was rebuilt in 1472, and although the exterior has no claim to praise, the interior is highly ornamented, and contains a fine altar tomb in memory of Prior Vivian, who died in 1533, and who is represented in his episcopal robes, as Bishop of Megara, his head guarded by angels; his arms, those of the Priory, and a variety of other sculptures, adorn the tomb. The Font is a curious relic, of much higher antiquity than the Church; it is of large dimensions, supported by a massy pedestal, and four smaller pillars, and highly ornamented with grotesque carvings of animals, &c.; a handsome painted window, representing the Resurrection, has been recently erected. The Assize Hall is a part of a Convent of Grey Friars, founded in 1239, and which was granted to the Corporation in 1565, by whom it was appropriated to its present purpose about 1716. Portions of the same building are employed as a Corn Market, and a Ball Room.
* When Sir Anthony Kingston, the Jeffreys of his day, came into the county to punish the defeated insurgents, he was received by the Mayor of this town, and entertained with great hospitality. Before dinner he informed his host that he meant that afternoon to execute some of the chief offenders, and desired him to have a gallows erected for the purpose. After the meal, he went to the door, accompanied by the mayor, to ascertain if his directions had been complied with; and, with a brutal joke, immediately caused his hospitable entertainer to be hanged, in front of his own house, without the slightest form of trial.
The Grammar School, founded in the reigú of Elizabeth, was formerly held in a Chapel, near the Church, but a new School has been erected within the last ten years, in a more convenient situation. A commodious Lunatic Asylum was also built a few years since. The population of the parish of Bodmin, according to the latest returns, was 3278 persons, of whom 2902 inhabit the town; a portion of them are employed in a serge manufactory, and in making shoes. “An excellent Market is held here on Saturday, and six annual Fairs. About a mile and a half from the town is a Race Course, considered one of the finest in England, and much frequented, in July or August, when the Races are held.
At Lanhivet, a village about three miles west from Bodmin, are the ruins of a monastic edifice, connected with the Priory of that town: they consist of a tower, and part of the walls of a small Chapel, beautiful though mutilated: in the Churchyard are two high crosses of stone. At a short distance from hence is the ancient mansion of Lanhydrock, a low building of granite, occupying three sides of a square: it has a gallery, 116 feet long, which, as well as many of the apartments, has its ceiling covered with a profusion of uncouth figures, intended as ornaments. The approach to the house is by a fine avenue of trees, nearly a mile in length; and the venerable tower of the parish Church, finely mantled with ivy, forms an interesting object in the view; as, from its contiguity, it appears to be a part of the mansion.
Boscastle is a small town romantically situated in a valley, washed by an inlet of the sea, about three miles from Bossipey. It has a Market on Thursday, and the pilchard fishery affords sone employmeut to the inhabitants, who are few in number: yet it has a Quay, and some new buildings have been erected. A Castle, from which the towu derives its name, formerly stood here, but bas long ceased to exist.
BossInEY is one of those wretched villages which in Cornwall are dignified with the name of boroughs, and have the privilege of returning two Members to Parliament. It is situated on the western coast of the county, 230 miles from London, and the whole population of the miserable cottages which compose it and the village of Tintagell, in which parish Bossicey is situated, amounts to 877 persons; eight or nine of these, who are freeholders, are facetiously termed the mayor and burgesses, and select” the Parliamentary Representatives!
Near this place, partly on the main land, and partly on a bold promontory, pearly separated from it by an immense chasm in the slaty cliff, over which was once a drawbridge, now destroyed, is
Arthur, whose real history has been so blended with the marvellous as to throw discredit on the whole, and to make even his existence doubted. From the appearance of the ruins, however, their erectiou must have taken place loog previously to the Conquest; after which period this Castle became the occasional residence of the Earls and Dakes of Cornwall, and so lately as the reign of Elizabeth it had a governor, and was used as a state prison: it is now mouldering fast to decay, and all that remains are soine fragments of the massive walls, pierced with small holes, probably for the discharge of arrows. This Castle was of great extent, as is proved by its ruins; and the awful precipices by which it is surrounded, the desolate aspect of the neighbouring couutry, and the sullen roaring of the sea, 300 feet below, combine to form a scene of real sublimity.
St. BURIAN, although now only consisting of some wretched cottages, five miles from Penzance, was once the seat of a College of Augustine canons, founded by King Athelstan in 930, after his return from the conquest of the Scilly Isles, and governed by a Dean. This foundation subsisted until 1535, when it was dissolved, and its revenues, then estimated at £48. 128. 6d. appropriated to the Rector of the parish, who still bears the title of Dean, and has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the adjoining parishes of Sennan and St. Levan. The Collegiate buildings were demolished by Shrubsall, the Parliamentary governor of Pendendis Castle, and very few vestiges of them still exist; but the Church, which is built on the highest land in this part of the county, is a venerable relic, although, from its exposure to the raips from the Atlantic, its walls, and especially those of the tower, have a deceptive freshness, wbich leads the casual observer to think it a new building. From the summit of the tower the prospect is very extensive, commanding the whole of the surroundiug country, and the mighty expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. In clear weather the Scilly Islands may be easily distinguished, especially with a setting suu, when they appear to project from the brilliant ground of the western sky like figures embossed on buroished gold. On entering the Church the autiquary will be disappointed: the venerable and richly carved rood-loft, which divided the choir from the nave, has been removed, within a few years, "from an idea that it deadened the voice of the preacher;" and the ancient sculptured seats have been converted into modern pews. Here is a monument, in the shape of a coffin, with an inscription in Norman French, partly obliterated. In the Churchyard is a very ancient Cross, of rude workmanship, elevated on four steps, and bearing on one side the image of the crucified Saviour: in the road, opposite to the Churchyard, is another Cross, nearly of the same description.
This neighbourhood, although barren, wild, and uncultivated, abounds with objects deeply interesting to the antiquary, and to the lover of nature in her rudest dress. Here may be found all the various species of Druidical remains, consisting of cairns, circles, cromlechs, logan-stones, and fortifications or castles, of which we shall give a brief description.At Boscawen-Un is a circle, consisting of 19 stones, (some of which have fallen) forming a ring about 25 feet in diameter, with a single one in the centre: another circle, nearly similar to this, with the exception of the central pillar, is to be seen at Bolleit; it is called the Merry Maidens, from a tradition that some damsels, amusing themselves by dancing on the Sabbath, were "hardened into stone,” and here remain, a lasting monument of Divine vengeance; these stones are 19in number, and two others at a little distance are said to represent the pipers, who played to this devoted party. At Kerris is an enclosure of an oval form, called Roundago, composed of numerous stones, some of which are erect, and some piled on each other like a wall, but without cement; several other enclosures, of a similar form, exist in the vicinity; and in the parish of St. Just, at some distance to the north, is the most considerable, called the Botallack Circle, which consisted, according to Borlase, of four upright circles, intersecting each other, a fifth at a little distance, and several detached stones.
Lanyon Quoit is a Cromlech, consisting of three large upright stones, supporting a fourth, which is 28 feet long, and 14 wide: in the parish of Morvah is another cromlech, of five stones, and some others in the neighbourhood: these are supposed to have