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Cornish: Alternonn
Altarnun is located in Cornwall
 Altarnun shown within Cornwall
Population 976 (Civil Parish, 2001)
OS grid reference SX 223 812
Civil parish Altarnun
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district PL15
Dialling code 01566
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament North Cornwall
List of places

Coordinates: 50°36′11″N 4°30′40″W / 50.603°N 4.511°W / 50.603; -4.511

Altarnun /ɔːltərˈnʌn/ (Cornish: Alternonn) is a village and civil parish in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is located on the north-eastern edge of Bodmin Moor[1] at grid reference SX 223 811.

The parish of Altarnun includes the village of Fivelanes and the hamlets of Bolventor, Treween and Trewint, and had a population of 976 according to the 2001 census.[2] Other hamlets in the parish are Bowithick, Palmersbridge, South Carne, Tolborough, Lower Tregunnon, and Tredaule.[3] The area of the parish is 15,018 acres (60.78 km2), the largest in Cornwall.[4]

The moorland area of the parish is large and lies west of the village towards Rough Tor and southwards towards Dozmary Pool. There is a large conifer plantation at Wilsey Down Forest (Halvana Plantation). The village is in the valley of the Penpont Water and the parish is divided by the A30 trunk road which passes through Fivelanes which was once an important stopping place for stage coaches.

Parish Church of St Nonna[edit]

Being the largest parish church on Bodmin Moor, the Church of St Nonna is also known as the Cathedral of the Moor. It is a building largely of the 15th century in the Perpendicular style, with the bell tower standing at 109 ft (33 m) high. It is notable for the fine Norman font and the amount of old woodwork, including the screen, bench-ends and communion rails which date to 1684. The screen is one of the finest 15th century examples in Cornwall; it has three gates and the cornice of vines and tracery and vaulting are finely carved.[5]

Wesleyan Methodism in Altarnun[edit]

John Wesley often visited Trewint (lodging in Digory Isbell's home): this is now a museum of Wesley and Methodism. (The former Wesleyan chapel of Altarnun has the head of Wesley carved over the doorway by Neville Northey Burnard. This was done when Burnard was aged sixteen years and lived next door.)[6][7]

Language and culture[edit]

Altarnun features in the novel Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier set in the parish's former coaching house by the same name. The village was also the birthplace of sculptor Neville Northey Burnard (1818–1878). It was surveyed for the Survey of English Dialects.

See also[edit]

Altarnun Methodist chapel


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 201 Plymouth & Launceston ISBN 978-0-319-23146-3
  2. ^ "Altarnun". Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  3. ^ Cornwall; Explore Britain
  4. ^ Kneebone, W. A. (1963) Altarnon Church
  5. ^ Mee, Arthur (1937) Cornwall. London: Hodder & Stoughton; pp. 19-20
  6. ^ Pearce, John (ed.) (1964) The Wesleys in Cornwall: extracts from the Journals of John and Charles Wesley and John Nelson. Truro: D. Bradford Barton; pp. 65-67
  7. ^ "John Wesley at Altarnun". Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Shaw, Thomas (1960) Trewint in its Historical Setting

External links[edit]