Celtic GlorySpiritual


St Bradoc, Lostwithiel, Cornwall

Braddock is a  tiny hamlet near the large and ancient Boconnoc Estate outside of Lostwithiel. Little is known of St Bradoc (meaning broad oak) other than that he was thought to be a companion of St Winnow and the church was linked to the St Winnow church originally. However, the dedication today is to the Virgin Mary, yet the churchyard is stated to be 6th century and is clearly a circular lan.

Braddock church

Nearby is both an ancient wayside cross (Penventon Cross, also known as Killboy cross) but frustratingly I could find no information about it at all, except it does appear to point towards the church. It is currently situated on an ancient track but was this its original position? We approached it via a very old pathway which felt like it had existed for millenia and long before the current field system. It followed the path of a stream in the bottom of a steep valley below Braddock Church. The path leads directly to the cross, which is in a hedge at a T junction, pointing to the church. Nearby is Penventon Holy Well (venton meaning spring). We couldn't access this as it was on private ground.

Killboy cross

Walking towards the cross, through ancient woodland, under the canopy of centuries old oaks, with no human sound or building in sight, it wasn't hard to see and feel what it was like for the early Christian pilgrims.

Tree Braddock

These ancient tracks, trade and pilgrim routes were isolated, hauntingly beautiful, austere yet compelling. Time seemed a bit irrelevant and with no focal point. 

Braddock stream

So did pilgrims come this way? I've no idea. What was the meaning behind the name Killboy for the cross? Again no idea. Was it linked in some way to the Civil War battle which occurred here at Braddock Down in 1643? Probably not. 

All that could be ascertained is the circular lan at the church, indicating a 6th century Christian presence and the little known link of Bradoc with Winnow. 

Braddock church glass

It was a delight to find the church not only open but very clearly active, with young people and welcoming. In such an out of the way location, this was wonderful to find. I can't say I had an amazing encounter with God, but there was a peace and joyfulness about the church.

Green path to killboy cross Braddock