Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War Museum
The Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War museum is dedicated to the history of RAF Davidstow Moor from its opening on 1st October 1942 until its closure at the end of 1945. It also includes other airfields in Cornwall, the Royal Navy around the county, the Army, Civilian Services and the Home Guard.
The Museum was founded by Steve and Sheila Perry in 2007. They purchased the land, along with some original Airfield buildings, and have since added to the site, sometimes using the original foundations of demolished buildings, and have constructed other buildings alongside. The Museum is totally privately funded and relies on the entrance fee paid, and donations, along with the proceeds of a small shop. Most of the exhibits are owned by Steve and his wife, but others, such as Medals and Uniform have been donated by supporters of the Museum.
As well as the Museum site they also organise guided Airfield Tours, lasting about 1.5 hours, using their electrically-powered minibus affectionally called 'Marlene' The tour (of 6-8 persons) costs £7.50, which includes entry into the Museum. Tours are available on Thursdays in July and August until mid-September, and have to bee booked in advance.
Children £3.00 (under 5 free)
Family tickets: £10 for 2 adults and 3 children up to 16 years old.
Open Wednesday to Saturday from Easter until autumn school half term holidays inclusive.
Open 7 days a week July, August and September including school and Bank Holidays.
10.00 am until 5.00 pm. Last admission 4.15 pm
More concise directions
If coming from Altarnun, follow the road North, towards Camelford, and over the airfield at Davidstow. At the far end of the airfield branch off to the right, towards the cheese factory, and the Museum will be on your left. Pass straight into the site, as the Museum on the roadside is a different attraction.
If coming from Bude or Camelford, turn off the A39 onto the A395 and take the minor road towards the cheese factory. The Museum will be past the factory, and on the right side.
I have passed this Museum an many occasions, but only recently visited it. You will need a minimum of a couple of hours to see most exhibits, and a whole morning or afternoon would be better. A good place to visit if it's wet outside too!
The Church of St. Nonna
The site that St. Nonna's (also called the Cathedral of the Moors) stands on has been a holy site since at least the 12th century, but the church that now stands there is from the 15th century period. The tower of the church is 109 feet high and the whole structure is surrounded by old graves. Open during the day, the interior of this beautiful church is a small marvel, housing stained glass windows and 79 bench ends, hand-carved by Robert Daye in the 16th century. Each end is unique and beautiful and have to be seen to be fully appreciated. The inside of this church took my breath away, and I must confess I felt as if the holiness of 900 years of Christian worship has permeated the very wood and stones of the building. It was not the last time I would feel this way during my visit to Cornwall.
An ancient Celtic cross can be seen outside of the church, as well as a picturesque footbridge leading over a babbling brook. The whole affair is right in the center of the village, and all two (three, perhaps?) of the village shops, including the post office, are a stone's throw away.
- Religious Travel
Visit the Wrights
When one is in Altarnun they must visit Geoff and Mary Wright (search this website to contact them) even if it's just for a cup of tea. They may be some of the most pleasant and helpful people I've ever met, and they're a wealth of information about the area.
Don't be shy. If you're interested in Altarnun, email Geoff, Mary, or Antony Wright (all of whom are listed here on VT) and ask them about stopping by.
I bet they'll be delighted to hear from you.
Walk and enjoy the peace & quiet of the village
There are so many pretty little corners and attractive houses in this picturesque village.
My sister and her husband, longtime residents of North Anerica and for the last 10 years of California, were bowled over to find that the heritage they had "stored" for 40 years was still here!
Brown Willy - The Highest Summit In Cornwall
Standing at 1378 feet, Brown Willy is the highest point in Cornwall, and offers resplendent vies of the area. It's a steep hike to the top and can be quite windy and cold, so be prepared. That said, it's well worth the hike to see the views of Bodmin Moor and the villages that border it.
Brown Willy is within walking distance of Altarnun, if you're a good hiker, across the open moors. While here you should also see the amazing bronze age settlements littering the hillside. I don't remember any signs pointing the way to these, so you'll have to ask someone for specifics or get a map.
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
- Mountain Climbing
A Pretty, if Snowy, Scene!
That morning, as I left Truro, located further down toward the tip of Cornwall, the road conditions in town were not very good. Even as I drove along the A30 toward Altarnun, I was beset with alternate blasts of hail bouncing off the car or snow flurries! However, the further I drove east, the less severe the effects of the snow became. I did not really fancy being stuck down some hilly lane in Cornwall on a snow-covered road without proper tires! However, all worked out well in the end. This pretty scene in Altarnun was again taken by the Church of St. Nonna, and shows the beautiful old stone packhorse bridge over Penpont Water, the stream that runs through the village.
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
'Bwana_Brown' Meets 'Geoff Wright' and 'pufuletz'
When Geoff and I were talking about the timing of my visit, he mentioned that he would also be picking up Romanian VT-member Julien that morning at about the same time. As it turned out, Geoff was returning from that pickup when he drove past me by the church! Following my precise instructions to the tiny hamlet of Treween, I soon spotted Geoff and Mary's pretty white house trimmed with yellow! It was not long afterward that this historic photo was taken!
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Our Ancient Church
The church of St Nonna is mainly 15th Century, with a tower that soars to 105 feet. There are a few stones from the Norman church, including the fine massive font. Part of the roof retains its original timbers.
But the best of all the woodwork is the splendid array of about 80 bench-ends by a 16th Century craftsman with men and women in Tudor costume, a piper and a fiddler, a jester with cap and bells, sword dancers, sheep on the hills, and sheaves of corn which grow into faces.
St Nonna was the mother of Saint David, patron Saint of Wales.
The famous Jamaica Inn is only four miles to the west of Altarnun. This Inn used to be a coaching Inn, as it was impossible to cross the perilous Bodmin Moor during the hours of darkness.
The Inn was immortalized by the author Daphne Du Maurier, in her book of the same name. Wheter or not the Inn was a base for smugglers is still a matter for discussion, but there does seem to be a ghost here - ask member Laura Hayward!
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Not so much an activity, as you just have to gaze into the early evening sky, when the sun sinks slowly in the West. Some amazing sights!
Take a deep breath and look at our beautiful countryside! This picture is from near my home, towards Dartmoor, Devon. You can see for 25 miles or more.