Wild windswept moorland hamlet

Altarnun Parish Council


A small hamlet located in the centre of Bodmin Moor. It is situated in Bolventor parish which was created on 24th June 1848 from parts of Altarnun, St. Neot and Cardinham parishes.

Bolventor is the location of the famous Jamaica Inn coaching inn. It is bypassed by a dual carriageway section of the A30 trunk road between Launceston and Bodmin; before the bypass was built the village straddled the A30 road.

Just to the south of Bolventor is Dozmary Pool, a lake about a mile in circumference. The lake has a number of legends associated it, perhaps the most well known is that of Excalibur, King Arthur's sword given to him by the Lady of the Lake. It is said that after Arthur was mortally wounded he ordered that Excalibur be thrown into Dozmary Pool. This was done and after the sword was cast into the lake a woman's hand caught it and held it aloft before taking it under the surface.

Another legend associated with the pool is that of Jan Tregeagle, who to keep his soul from the Devil was set a series of impossible tasks. The first was to empty the (what was then thought bottomless) Dozmary Pool with a holed limpet shell. It has since been proved that the lake does have a bottom as it dried out during the last century!

Daphne du Maurier, a former resident, chose Bolventor as the setting for her novel about Cornish smugglers titled Jamaica Inn. The inn that inspired the novel, Jamaica Inn, has stood beside the main road through the village since 1547. It is now a tourist attraction in its own right and dominates the village.

The small church (dedicated to the Holy Trinity) built in 1846 that lies to the west of the village closed some years ago. A mile south of Bolventor there was a chapel of St. Luke built in 1858, its font is now at the church of Tideford.

On 14th September 1945 a Royal Air Force Handley Page Halifax Mk VII was operating a flight from RAF Tarrant Rushton, Dorset to Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal. During the flight an electrical failure occurred causing a dingy inside the wing to inflate dislodge from stowage. The dingy wrapped around the tail assembly and the aircraft went into a nose dive, crashing into the Priddacombe area of Bolventor. All twenty one onboard, seven crew and fourteen passengers died in the crash.

The village is an ideal base for exploring Bodmin Moor. You can walk to Dozmary Pool, visit Brown Willy, Cornwall's highest point and take in the beauty of Roughtor.

The village is said to take its name from the "Bold Venture" which was to establish farmland on Bodmin Moor.


Pubs in Bolventor

Altarnun       Bodmin Moor       Blisland       Cardinham       Jamaica Inn       Colliford Lake