Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Bodmin Moor

Cornish: Goon Brenn; Fowey Moor

Bodmin Moor is a rugged and expansive granite moorland located in Cornwall, England. It is known for its wild, unspoiled landscapes. It was formerly known as Fowey Moor after the River Fowey which rises within it.

Bodmin Moor is steeped in folklore and mythology. It is believed to be the location of King Arthur’s final battle – the Battle of Camlann. The lake Dozmary Pool are considered by some to be the body of water in which Bedivere threw Excalibur. In some versions of the legends, Arthur was mortally wounded in the battle and taken to Slaughter Bridge. He is said to have been buried in the vicinity of Bodmin Moor, although the specific location remains a matter of speculation and mythology.

Within the boundaries of Bodmin Moor, there are two ancient stone crosses that bear inscriptions related to Arthurian legends. The Arthur’s Stone, also known as King Arthur’s Quoit, is an upright stone located near St. Clether. It features an inscription that suggests it was associated with Arthur. Additionally, the King Arthur’s Hall stone circle near St. Breward, is a megalithic monument. It consists of 56 stones and measures ca 20 meters by 47 meters. It’s thought to be a late Neolithic or early Bronze Age ceremonial site.

The area is also associated with other tales and legends, including the mysterious Hurlers stone circles and the ghostly “Beast of Bodmin,” a legendary creature reportedly sighted in the area.

Bodmin Moor | Prehistoric Period to the 9th century AD

Bronze Age | c. 2500 – 800 BC
Bodmin Moor has numerous prehistoric remains dating back to the Bronze Age. This includes stone circles, standing stones, and burial chambers. The Hurlers, a group of three stone circles near the village of Minions, is an example of Bronze Age ritual sites on the moor.

Iron Age | 800 BC – 43 AD
Evidence suggests Iron Age settlements on Bodmin Moor. Hillforts, such as the one on Alex Tor, indicate the presence of ancient communities. The landscape was likely used for agricultural and ritual purposes.

Roman Period | 43 – 410 AD
During the Roman occupation of Britain, Bodmin moor was on the fringes of Roman influence. The Roman road known as the Old Fosse Way passed near the moor, connecting Exeter and Corinium Dobunnorum (modern-day Cirencester). While there is not clear evidence of Roman settlements on the moor, the road’s presence suggests connectivity.

Post-Roman and Early Medieval Period | 5th – 9th centuries
Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the early fifth century, Bodmin Moor entered a period known as Sub-Roman Britain. Political fragmentation and the rise of local kingdoms characterized this time. The early medieval period saw the spread of Christianity. Missionaries, including Celtic saints, played a role in converting the local population. The dedication of St. Petroc’s Church in Bodmin to an early Christian saint reflects this period of Christianization.

Viking Incursions | 9th century
The ninth century witnessed Viking incursions along the coasts of Britain, including Cornwall. While the impact on Bodmin Moor is not well-documented, the broader political and social upheavals of the Viking Age would have influenced the region.

See also
Camel | The Legend of King Arthur
Dozmary Pool | The Legend of King Arthur
King Arthur’s Bed | The Legend of King Arthur
King Arthur’s Twelve Battles | The Legend of King Arthur
Merlin’s Tomb | The Legend of King Arthur
Morrois | The Legend of King Arthur
Perilous Lake | The Legend of King Arthur
Slaughter Bridge | The Legend of King Arthur
Topography and Local Legends | The Legend of King Arthur