Bodmin, Cornwall

St Petroc's Church, Bodmin, Cornwall

Bodmin’s St Petroc’s Church is the largest parish church in Cornwall at over 150 feet long and 65 feet wide. St Petroc himself has spent some time over the centuries occupying the reliquaries of the church. A church certainly existed here in the Norman period, Bodmin being one of the earliest stopping points from the Norman Conquest of Cornwall.

Some fragments of masonry from this period exist. It is interesting to speculate how much damage was done in the violent riot which erupted at the church when a visiting French nobleman dared to pour scorn over the notion that King Arthur was asleep somewhere awaiting his call to return – a notion the Cornish held (and possibly still hold) in some reverence. This was in 1110. It is certainly true that in 1469 work began on a total rebuild of the church and this was largely completed by 1472 at a cost of over £300 – a fortune in those days and more like the kind of money spent on a Cathedral than a mere church.

In 1699 most of the roof burnt down when the spire was struck by lightning. Restoration began in the 19th Century and was completed in 1860.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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