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The 15th century home with a captivating history

It’s not hard to visually step back in time in Bodmin; with its winding streets and old-world feel, suddenly centuries of people, buildings and old lay-outs of the town begin to unravel.

But one house in particular has a story spanning centuries, with a mention in the Domesday Book, an ancient manuscript commissioned in 1086 by William the Conqueror, recording England’s land, people and properties.


Named ‘Towerhill Farmhouse’, the original dwelling is thought to have been built some time in the 15th century and is believed to be the oldest house in Bodmin. The only date is carved on a granite stone built into the front with the year ‘1614’ inscribed on it, installed on a Tudor addition to the original house. The house came into possession of the Mudge family in 1794, when Thomas Mudge purchased it and opened a tanyard close by.


The stories the house must hold, and the characters who have passed through its doors over the past 600 years, is varied. It is thought that a pretender to the throne, Perkin Warbeck, visited the occupants of the house in 1497. Warbeck claimed to be Richard of Shrewsbury, the Duke of York - the second son of the former King Edward IV and one of the ‘Princes in the Tower’. Warbeck’s deception was eventually discovered and he was taken to the Tower of London to be hanged by King Henry VII in 1499.


Tunnels supposedly lead from the house to St Petroc’s Church, also built in the 15th century, and the Priory, which was dissolved by Henry VIII.


Richard Mudge is the current owner, and came into possession of the property in the 1990s. Since then, with some grants from English Heritage and North Cornwall District Council, the house has undergone a full, extensive refurbishment to not only bring it back to life, but preserve some of the original features, including a Tudor rose motif on one of the ceilings.


It’s important to note that Towerhill Farmhouse is not open to the public to explore, but you can book a stay here from July 2024 through The Cornish Holiday company. How wonderful to know that a building which holds so much history still stands in Bodmin today.

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