St Breward and The Old Inn are situated on the edge of Bodmin Moor between Bodmin and Camelford in North Cornwall. The village and moor are steeped in history, most recently being infamous for the ‘Beast of Bodmin Moor stories and sightings.
Evidence of flints and other artefacts have been found on the moor which indicates that there were settlements as long ago as the Mesolthic period (8000 – 4500BC). The village came along much later and the original church was built in the 11th Century and there is still evidence of the original construction even after restoration in the 15th Century. There are buildings in the village which are listed in the Domesday Book which reports that population in 1086 was around 60.
The recent village industries are focussed around granite quarries, china clay works and farming, although tourism is now significant with the area being popular with walkers, nature lovers and people who simply want a peaceful holiday situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The Old Inn is St Brewards’ only public house and can be found next door to the hilltop Parish Church. At around 720 feet above sea level The Old Inn is the highest public house in Cornwall. The building (then comprising only the middle bar area and kitchens) was built in the 11th century at the same time as the original church and was the residence of the monks who were constructing the church. The original granite fireplaces, believed to be from this period, can be seen in the bar areas. The fireplace behind the front bar has recently been uncovered and restored by the current owners.
Although written records did not exist until 1806 when John Jory was the landlord, it is believed that The Old Inn began trading as a public house in the 15th Century. The Inn was a freehouse up until 1930 when it was tied to the Redruth Brewery (Devenish). In 1975, Devenish put The Old Inn up for sale and was bought by Mr & Mrs Goodenough as a freehouse. It has remained a freehouse ever since and has been lovingly refurbished and extended to provide a spacious and attractive Restaurant with seating for 120 people for weddings, birthdays, dinner and dances.
The Landlords since 1853 are:
1853 -1873 Mr William Harry
1873 -1897 Mr Edward Broad
1897 -1911 Mr Thomas Broad
1911 -1919 Mrs Margaret Broad
1919 -1930 Mr John Broad
1930 -1950 Mr Herbert Higman
1950 -1954 Mr Williams followed by Mr Wesley Piper
1954 -1971 Mr & Mrs Roper Marshall
1971 -1975 Mrs Marshall
1975 -1977 Mr Roger Jackson & Mr Gerald Bates
1977 -1982 Mr & Mrs Peter Brown
1982 -1986 Mr & Mrs Dennis Carrol
1986 -1990 Mr & Mrs Derek Judd
1990 -1999 Mr & Mrs Ian Cameron
1999 – present Mr Darren Wills