Bodmin Keep

A First World War photograph like some of the exhibits at Bodmin Keep

In Brief

Type: Army museum
Suitable for: Military buffs
Address: Just off the B3268 and Castle Canyke Road, Bodmin
Price: Adults £9, six-to-18-year-olds £5 and under-fives go for free
Dog friendly?: Yes and “proud” of it, they say

Attention! Everyone in formation? Good, because we’ll need a bit of discipline to tell you all about this Cornish attraction. Bodmin Keep is a must-visit for anyone who’s interested in military history. This is a museum that aims to tell all generations of visitors about the story of the county regiment and its brave, brave soldiers.

Bodmin Keep, which is opposite the famous Bodmin and Wenford Railway in the centre of the Cornish town, is actually set inside some pretty historic barracks. Barracks that are more than 160 years old, in fact. The museum, which is open between Tuesdays and Saturdays, 10am to 5pm, is in the former headquarters of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry in Bodmin. Make no mistake, this is the historic home of the Army of Cornwall.

Local military history is sewn into the fabric of Bodmin Keep. The museum covers at least 300 years and has a collection of more than 12,000 artefacts including battlefield letters, weapons, drums, commemorative plates, paintings and, well, so much more. It’s all about the stories. Tales of battles won and lost, people saved and friends lost. There is also a library, gift shop and meeting rooms, plus exhibitions are run regularly.

Military history often just appeals to the older generations but Bodmin Keep certainly caters for younger people and families. It’s a fairly traditional place in terms of presentation but the trenches outside add an ‘experience factor’ for children, plus many of the stories are colourfully brought to life and serve to educate today’s youth on both the dangers of war and the benefits of comradeship in the face of conflict. Now then, eyes right… fall out, ladies and gentlemen. We’ll see you at the Keep at 1100 hours.