Lynher Valley

Bathpool bridgeThese pages are made up of contributions from local people and others with connections to the area.


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From Saxon times

Battens Mill footbridgeIn Saxon times, the three rivers Tamar, Inny and Lynher, were gradually crossed by the Saxons driving back the British who had inhabited these lands for many years before. The Tamar was breached in 941AD, the Inny in 961AD and finally the River Lynher in 981AD. The big triangle of land enclosed by these rivers was taken by Queen Matilda as her own, and as each river was taken Saxon settlers were encouraged into the area to use the land and help defend it against returning British (or of course as we would call them now, the Cornish).


The Abbey of Tavistock

boundary stoneAround this time the great Abbey of Tavistock was founded, by Matilda, and much of these lands given to the abbey for their income. Many of the manors in Linkinhorne and especially Rillaton were given to them, which included land right up onto the moor - some of the old Rillaton Manorial boundary stones are still on the Bodmin Moor.








The land

old oak treeThe land at this time was fully forested and crossing down into the valley must have been perilous. Roads would have been steep and rough, dipping straight down into the valley and up the other side, spending as little time on the valley floor as possible. Berrio Bridge is an example, although the old road climbed straight up the south side past Nodmans Bowda, known now as Port Lane, rather than the 'new' main road which was built in the 1700's by Francis Rodd.







The manors

The manorial system of land holding and administration was already established in England by the time of the Domesday survey in 1086. The Norman term 'manor' was used to describe a unit of local administration based on an area of land, made up of several properties and owned by one landlord. The manor may have been a part of or the whole of a parish and may have covered more than one parish, and not necessarily neighbouring land or parishes. Size and boundaries varied over time, as a manor may have been sub-divided; parcels of land, or tenements, could be annexed from the 'parent' manor.




Domesday Book is a statistical survey of England in 1086 A.D. It is a census of the population and productive resources of the counties of England, of their value and who held them, both before the Norman Conquest and after. It is arranged by counties and by landholders within counties. Foreign Lords had taken over, but little else would have changed. Villages were grouped in administrative districts called 'Hundreds' which formed regions within 'shires' which survived to become the counties similar to those we know today.

The manors recorded here, in what is now our North Hill parish, were included in the Rillaton hundred: Illand, Landreyne, Penhole, Tolcarne, Trebartha, Trefrize and Treveniel.


the moor


Twelve Men's Moor

The hills of Bodmin Moor above North Hill are called Twelve Men's Moor, after the signing of the famous Twelve Men's Moor Charter. The signatories include Trebartha and Castick. There are twelve names on the document, and it was also signed in the closing years of the twelfth century.
Whilst the land was still owned by the Abbey these men now had rights to farm over the moor. At about the same time a further lease was signed for a cottage in Bastreet, again with some of the names on the Charter.


granite millstoneGranite was quarried here, for many purposes from millstones to farm buildings.
See our Bodmin Moor page and places to visit.











Cornish Mining

mine engine houseThroughout the county the landscape has been shaped and built upon for the mining; imposing engine houses and extensive relict mine sites, tramways, foundry buildings, mining towns and villages, chapels, and the grand houses and gardens of the mineral lords. On the hillsides and the moor mining remains are evident, and people across the world have links with us in Cornwall through their family history.


See a map of the Cornwall Mining World Heritage Sites >





North Hill history group www.northhillhistory.co.uk
The Hundred of East www.cornovia.org.uk
Cornwall Mining World Heritage Site www.cornish-mining.org.uk
Cornish Language: a website is owned by the Cornish Language Fellowship. www.cornish-language.org
National archive – list of documents on Rodd of Trebartha www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/A2A/records.aspx?cat=021-rd&cid=0#0
Cornwall County Record Office Catalogue http://crocat.cornwall.gov.uk/DServe/searchpage.htm
Cornwall Online Parish Clerks (OPC) database  http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/
English Heritage list of scheduled monuments and listed buildings http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/
Use advanced search, select Cornwall unitary authority and North Hill parish
The National Archive
Old maps www.old-maps.co.uk
The Domesday Book online: The Domesday Book, commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066 www.domesdaybook.co.uk/cornwall1.html
Domesday Landholders www.domesdaybook.co.uk/landindex.html








toptop of page

the network for Cornish businesses in the Lynher Valley protecting the environment