Braddock, Cornwall

Braddock, Cornwall

Braddock (Cornish:"Brodhek") is a village and (by the name of Broadoak) a civil parish in the Caradon district of Cornwall in England, United Kingdom. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 124. The village is situated about 7 miles west of Liskeard, and 5 miles south-east of Bodmin.

Braddock Down battle

The Battle of Braddock Down was a battle of the English Civil War which occurred on 19th January 1643 and was a crushing defeat for the parliamentarian army. Sir Ralph Hopton, 1st Baron Hopton's royalist forces had been camped the night before the battle at nearby Boconnoc and were surprised when, in the morning on breaking camp, their vanguard of dragoons encountered enemy parliamentarian cavalry already deployed on the east side of Braddock Down. General Ruthvin, the parliamentarian commander, had been unwilling to wait for the Earl of Stamford’s reinforcements to arrive at Liskeard and, perhaps wishing to claim the expected defeat of Hopton as his own, had marched out to challenge the royalist army.

Braddock Down was in terms of scale a battle, but in terms of action was in some senses little more than a skirmish. The defeat of the parliamentarians was achieved with apparently little effort to the Royalists but at great cost to the enemy. Cornwall was placed back under Royalist control and Hopton’s reputation was secured.

There is some dispute over the exact location of the battlefield. The traditional site is partly within the parkland of Boconnoc, partly under pasture. Although the Down was open common grazing land at the time of the battle, the land to the west around Braddock church appears already to have been enclosed by 1643. There one can see examples of the typical Cornish hedges, stone faced banks surmounted by hedges, that bounded such enclosures in the 17th century. Today, access to the site is difficult because there are no public footpaths and the roads that traverse the battlefield are narrow with high hedges.


* "The Battle of Braddock Down 1643": by Stuart Peachey (Stuart Press, 1993). ISBN 1858040213

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