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Lanlivery, in Cornish, Lannlivri, meaning 'lann' - 'sacred enclosure' + possibly a Saint's name, is a village and parish in mid Cornwall.

The parish is sparsely populated with most of its inhabitants living in Lanlivery Churchtown and Sweetshouse.

The parish contains the impressive Helman Tor with its Neolithic and Bronze Age remains. A logan stone (rocking stone) stands on the granite carn.

The granite hedged Ridgeway leading from Helman Tor is part of an ancient prehistoric route from the north coast of Cornwall to the south coast. The continuing use of an ancient trackway across mid Cornwall can also be seen in the Dark Age Saints' Way which runs through Lanlivery. The Saints' Way was used by pilgrims from Ireland on their way to France. In 1990, the walk from Padstow to Fowey was re-enacted as parishioners played the role of the saints.

Farming is the main industry in Lanlivery. Most of the farms used to be owned by either the Lanhydrock or Pelyn estates but today the farms owned by these estates have been split and sold off to adjoining farms. The farmhouses and their buildings have been modernised and sold as homes.

A document dating from 1301 tells of two hermits who lived in the parish. Brother Robert of Penlyn, (believed to be Pelyn) who lived on an island 'surrounded by the waters of Fawe' and Brother Philip of Restormel.

Parish Church of Lanlivery

The parish church is dedicated to St Brevita or Bryvyth. The building was originally cruciform but was enlarged in the 15th century by the addition of a magnificent granite tower and the south aisle. The churches of Lostwithiel and Luxulyan were originally chapelries dependent on their mother church, Lanlivery.

It is possible the church was rededicated between the 12th and 15th centuries to St Manacus and St Dunstan. Manacus appears to be a latinised form of the Cornish word 'managh' - 'monk' and may refer to the earlier Celtic founder. There is a Lanlivry in Northern Brittany which could indicate an early Christian connection.

The church has undergone a major restoration in recent years.

The Kendall family of Pelyn were responsible for the building of the church and played an active role in the life of the church.

Since the 1950s Luxulyan and Lanlivery parishes have again shared the same vicar.

The building in the lower part of the churchyard has been used as a reading room and during the 19th century it was a school. Today, thanks to the help of parishioners and financial support, the building is now a modern village hall.

The Holy well of St Brevita or Bryvyth is near the church.

Lanlivery Parish once contained a number of chapels: Chapel of St Nicholas at Bodardle (a once powerful domesday manor); Chapel of St Peter at Poldew; of St Chad at Pelyn and another at the 'mansion of La Pyle' (Pill). There is a former Bible Christian Chapel at Pennant crossroads.

Crosses in Lanlivery Parish

In the 19th century two crosses were removed from the parish and taken to Boconnoc. In 1937, a fine cross was found at Bodwen, near Helman Tor. Lord Robartes of Lanhydrock removed it to his Lanhydrock estate where it was erected in the cemetery. A cross from Milltown was re-erected at Tregaminion in Tywardreath parish. There is a Celtic cross at No Man's Land, also known as the Pelynter Cross and there are crosses at Trethew and Sandyway.

Many attempts have been made to have the Bodwen Cross restored to its original position as it was important in the chain of crosses that link the churches of Lanlivery and Lanivet - Lanlivery Church -Menawink - Bodwen - Lesquite - Fenton Pits - St Ingunger - Reperry - Lanivet Church.

The manors of Penkneth and Pentneth were two of the original seventeen ancient manors belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall. Penkneth was given to Robert Earl of Mortain by William the Conqueror.

Restormel Castle lies north east of Lanlivery churchtown.

At Pelyn there is a 17th century house which was formerly the seat of the Kendall family. The house was originally E-shaped but today only one side of it survives. The centre was completely restored in early Victorian times. Pelyn is not open to the public. As mentioned above the family were important in Lanlivery, being responsible for the building of the church and they also feature prominently history of Lostwithiel. They are also to be found in the novels of Daphne du Maurier.

Place names in the parish of Lanlivery include: Bodwen, Breney, Carmear, Colcerrow, Crift, Greadow, Helman Tor (686ft / 209m), Polgassick, Trevilmick, Menawink - interesting granite ruins - could be 'men a wynnk' - 'stone on the marshy ground' or 'meneghy-wynnk' - 'place of refuge on the marsh'; Redmoor, Crewell, Castle, Pelyn Bridge, Sweetshouse, Milltown - in woods near here Trystan and Iseult courted, Red Moor and Breney Common nature reserves are within the parish.


After a ceremony on Helman Tor, a pageant showing life from the Neolithic Age, through Norman times to the present days was held in the village with almost everyone taking part.

A mediaeval tin figure was found at Bodwen.

In Lanlivery Churchtown is the Churchtown Field Studies Centre, a holiday and educational centre for young people and adults with physical and learning disabilities run by the charity Vitalise.

The inn in Lanlivery Churchtown is of mediaeval 'longhouse' construction.

The school in Lanlivery churchtown dates from 1877 and is in the granite gothic style. The school continues to thrive and has its own pre-school.

At Redmoor Bridge are the remains of a cottage that belonged to Jinny Gerry. Legend says she was a witch but there is no evidence to support this.

The Thomas Bullock Charity Trust had its beginnings in Lanlivery. In 1649 Thomas Bullock was born. He died a bachelor bequeathing £110 to the parish elders to purchase land. A farm in St Wenn was purchased. The rent from this land was to be distributed between the fatherless children and widows of the parish. In recent times the farm was sold and the money was invested and is administered by the Thomas Bullock Trust.


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The village is located approximately 1.5 miles/ 2.4 km west of Lostwithiel and five miles /8 km south of Bodmin. Lanlivery is a large parish situated to the west of the A390 Lostwithiel to St Blazey road.

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