Boconnoc, Cornwall

Boconnoc, Cornwall

Boconnoc parish is five miles east of Lostwithiel, south of the road from Lostwithiel to Liskeard. It is named after the Old Cornish for 'Dwelling place of Conoc' or perhaps Bo-Con-Oke - 'Place of Stunted Oaks'. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1087 as Bochenod.

Boconnoc is one of the great houses of Cornwall with long drives through the parkland to its own medieval church.

Lord Russell, Earl of Bedford sold Boconnoc in 1579 to Sir William Mohun who rebuilt it. Thomas Pitt purchased the estate with the proceeds of the Pitt Diamond which he sold to the Regent of France where it ended up beautifying Napoleon's sword. Pitt's grandson, William, became Prime Minister. The estate was then inherited by the Fortescue family who still own it although, since 1969 the house has not been lived in, and has deteriorated.

Boconnoc House was occupied during the Second World War, by American troops and the grounds used as an ammunition dump in preparation for the invasion of Europe.

Boconnoc Church, Cornwall

The church in the grounds thought to have been consecrated in 1413. The church stands on what was probably a 7th century Celtic monastery. It is mentioned in Domesday as San Winnuc and still has some remains of the Norman building. In the 15th century it was substantially rebuilt, with the addition of the aisle, tower, and the magificant east windows. Its bench ends were carved between the 15th and 17th centuries and still are in good condition. The most prominent monument is the 123 feet high Obelisk which was erected in 1771 by Thomas Pitt, 1st Lord Camelford, in memory of his wife's uncle and benefactor, Sir Richard Lyttelton. St Winnow Church. Boconnoc is a Church of England (Anglican) parish and part of the Diocese of Truro in Cornwall. The Church is usually closed to visitors. However, when events are held on the Boconnoc estate, visitors can sometimes request access to the Church via the Estate Office.

The parsonage and glebe of Boconnoc were included in the park and grounds of Boconnoc House, by Act of Parliament, in 1806 when a new rectory house was built at Broadoak (Bradock) to serve both parishes. The old parsonage became the home of the Steward of the Boconnoc Estate, situated behind Boconnoc House in a secluded valley.

The Battle of Braddock Down was fought near here during the Civil War. In January 1643 the Parliament forces under Colonel Ruthven tried to to force an entry into Cornwall, which was strongly Royalist. Near Braddock Church, he came up against the Royalists commanded by Bevil Grenville and Ralph Hopton (both subsequently Knighted) marching from Boconnoc Park where they had camped overnight. The Parliamentary forces were routed.Apparently at Largin Farm you can still see the trenches used by the Roundheads during the Battle of Braddock Down.

Another battle took place near here in 1644, when Lord Robartes of Lanhydrock (a Puritan) had informed the Earl of Essex, commander-in-chief of the Parliament Army, that Cornwall was ready to surrender. Essex marched into Cornwall, and was met by an army under Bevil Grenville and Lord Goring, plus the King with an army of several thousands. The King made his headquarters at Boconnoc and the Roundheads were pushed down into Lostwithiel and Fowey, finally surrendering at at Castle Dore.

There is a Deer Park(around 100 deer) within the grounds and also a 20 acre garden which is open in the Spring for various charities. Boconnoc House and Park have been used as film locations including the Poldark series and scenes from the 1993 film of The Three Musketeers.

Braddock Church. Church of St Mary the Virgin at Bradoc (Braddock today) stands on a hill. The building is 13th century and incorporates the Tower and the Norman arch of an earlier church.. The Tower has five bells (bells cast in 1845). The font is Norman and has fourcorner faces and large trees of life. Bradoc Church was used for the wedding scene in the film of Daphne du Maurier's "My Cousin Rachel".

Largin Castle - a camp or fort from the Iron Age. There are also in the area 9 tumuli or barrows in three fields which are said to be the burial places of tribal kings.

The writer of "pulp Methodism" novels, Silas Hocking was born in a house in the grounds

Boconnoc, Cornwall Genealogical Information from Genuki

Boconnoc House


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