A Window on Bodmin Moor

View of Bodmin Moor

This weeks #frifotos is all about windows. A fascinating subject, to be sure. I like photographing windows. And doors, turrets, oriels – all the features of a house that might give a hint at the personality of those that dwell within. Fodder for the imagination it is.

This window, however, is a bit different. Here, it’s about what we’re keeping out. Or so we think. This window, you see, looks out on the deliciously spooky Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

Just a short walk around the corner from here is Dozmary Pool. According to legend, this pretty, but rather unassuming little lake is where King Arthur tossed Excalibur as he was dying. According to legend, it’s also bottomless.

Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
Dozmary Pool

Sadly, neither claim is substantiated by fact. Surveyors have measured the lake: it’s no more than 3 metres at the deepest. No one has found Excalibur either, not even bits of it. But just because it hasn’t been found…

The Hurlers

Just a little further along are the Hurlers, an ancient stone circle of unknown origin. We, of course, know these were people turned to stone because rather than going to church on Sunday, they played games on Bodmin Moor. And not just any game, but the old Cornish game of hurling (think rugby, without any rules).

Of course, my youngest didn’t much care about a circle of stone people when there were real live horses to get up close with.

Bodmin Moor Bodmin Moor
Horses on Bodmin Moor

Fables and mysteries of Bodmin Moor

Cornwall is full of lore, and nowhere more so than on this wild and misty moor. The Devil lives here. As does little people, giants, lost lovers, pixies and witches. Then, of course, there’s the Beast of Bodmin, a large, black cat, possibly a panther, who has been sighted and even accused of killing livestock.

Again, nothing can be proven, but no one can say the authorities haven’t taken it seriously. In 1995, the British government conducted an official inquiry. The investigation concluded there were no verifiable evidence of exotic felines on the loose. But then, we know there’s no verifiable evidence of lots of things in this world, don’t we? Often very interesting things. And often on Bodmin Moor.

View of Bodmin Moor

You might be inside looking out, but don’t think you’re safe from unearthly beings. Behind this window, you see, are the corridors of Jamaica Inn, one of the most haunted hostelries in Britain. Ghostly foot steps have been heard in these corridors. Down the hall a bit is room number 5. Woe to him who looks up a minute while, say brushing his teeth, only to see a face next to his in the mirror… mwahahahaha



17 Responses to “A Window on Bodmin Moor”

  1. Laurence 15 September 2012 1027 #

    I used to live quite close to Bodmin moor so this post is a real memory trip for me. I remember trips up to visit Dozmary pool and the Hurlers – I always used to love getting lost amongst the rocks of the Tor’s and the vistas of the windswept moors. A beautiful place 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2012 1739 #

      How cool, Laurence. Cornwall is my favourite part of England. Beautiful and mysterious and, well, just different from anywhere else.

  2. Steve 15 September 2012 1652 #

    “People turned to stone because they didn’t go to church on Sunday”
    I’m so using that tomorrow morning when my kids don’t want to get up. If there’s a lot of hits on your blog tomorrow morning, it’s just me showing those pictures to my kids over and over again.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2012 1739 #


  3. Vera Marie Badertscher 16 September 2012 0439 #

    Sophie, are you SURE that it wasn’t Merlin who turned those people into stone?? I’m thinking one of them is holding the sword. He fished it out of the pond, angering Merlin, and Merlin turned all of them into stone. Gotta be the true story, don’t you think?

    I love this post, and will link to it in some of my Hallowe’en meanderings.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2012 1740 #

      I think you might be on to something, Vera 🙂

  4. Angela 16 September 2012 1128 #

    Omg look what happens if you don’t go to church on Sunday… Ooops today is Sunday! 😛 Great post, I love magical places 😉

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2012 1742 #

      Better get to church 🙂

  5. Michele @ Malaysian Meanders 16 September 2012 1428 #

    This post has really peaked my interest. I would think that a “bottomless” lake would be much deeper than 3m. It seems like someone a long time ago could have established that after taking a deep breath. Those ponies are darling, and my youngest would be all over them, too. This makes me want to visit.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2012 1744 #

      Yes, you’d think they would have found out a long time ago it wasn’t very deep at all. Although, thinking it was bottomless, and possibly slightly dangerous, perhaps people didn’t dare try…

  6. InsideJourneys 17 September 2012 0427 #

    The stories alone would have made me fearful of even walking by a moor but they’re so fantastical that a part of me would still be curious to prove them wrong.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2012 1745 #

      I see what you mean 🙂

  7. Marnie Byod 18 September 2012 0302 #

    Oh I would love to see how an ancient stone looks like in personal.
    It’s really historical.

  8. Finland Blog 18 October 2012 1337 #

    Bodmin Moor is a beautiful scenic place to visit
    I lived on the edge of the moor for 7 years
    There are plenty of abandened Tin Mines which in themselves hold a lot of mysterey on the moor
    Some great hiking routes across Bodmin Moor.Easy to spend a whole day on it

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0048 #

      Must have been an interesting place to live. The abandoned tin mines sound fascinating, too. I’d love to return to this eerily attractive moor to do some more hiking and exploring.

  9. Mike 1 December 2012 1853 #

    Hi Sophie,

    I Love your site! You have some amazing stories and great photographs and it’s wonderful to see someone focus on the experience with children. If you’re ever interested in entering any of them with BarrelHopping, we have ongoing contests where you can win cash and will get exposure to your site. Check us out when you have time and safe travels!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0049 #

      Thanks for stopping by, Mike. Will have a look at BarrelHopping; cool name 🙂

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