The Jackdaws of Bodmin Jail

There are many stories and tales regarding Jackdaws and their mysteries. The Jackdaws of Bodmin Jail have their own story and history.

According to legend the first Jackdaws arrived at the jail in November of 1846 after their owner was incarcerated and included them in her crimes.

As the legend goes Rose Wright was born in Luxulyan (a small village located on the edge of Bodmin Moor) sometime in early 1811, she was known as a witch in her local community. For many years she was held with fear and respect within the village, she would make herbal remedies and “potions” for people to help with their ailments. As the story goes, one year there was a drought and the villagers blamed Rose and her witchcraft – where once there was fear there was now hatred and anger. They shunned her, and she now had no means to make money to provide for herself.

Image taken from flickr.com

Rose lived near the woods, and this was where she gathered her herbs for her remedies. She became lonely, ignored by the village people she had once counted as friends, and over time she reportedly made friends with the animals living within the woods. Among these were the Jackdaws:  an intelligent bird which has always had empathy and affinity towards humans. They also have a love of shiny things, like their larger cousins the Magpies. Unlike Magpies, however, Jackdaws are quick and nimble, and their size means they can get in out of tighter spaces and create mischief!

Allegedly, Rose became aware of this by pure chance as one of her feathered friends brought her a gift of a few shillings it had stolen from one of the villagers. This gave Rose an idea: she could use the Jackdaws to steal money/items for her, she was desperate and did not want to starve. She spent some time training her pets, they learned quickly, so soon she had amassed a small haul of jewellery and coins. Obviously, this did not go unnoticed by the villagers of Luxulyan and they demanded the local gentry and law deal with Rose.

Accounts say that Rose was arrested and incarcerated at the jail after her conviction on November 19th, 1846, she was 36 years old. Rose was unfortunately ill upon arrival at the prison due to malnutrition and dysentery caused by her poor diet after her shunning. The Jackdaws came with her, and stories are told of them being mischievous; they would harass the guards and other prisoners -making noises throughout the night and being a nuisance within the Jail walls. They would try to steal the cell keys from the guards, but they were unsuccessful – Rose died in her damp & grimy cell on January 13th 1847, 2 months after her incarceration, weak and frail from her long-standing illness.

The Jackdaws did not leave after her death – the story tells that Rose put a curse upon the jail and the county town of Bodmin ‘should the last Jackdaw be born at Bodmin Gaol, so the spirits of the condemned shall rise and bring misfortune and chaos to all that reside within’.


Posted: 31st July 2019 By: Tara Jones



Superdry’s “Summer Or Nothing”


We have been added to Super Dry’s “Summer Or Nothing” page for things to do in the South West of England! We are honoured to be recognised by such a well-established brand as Superdry.

The “Summer Or Nothing” to do site is a tool you can use to plan your holiday. It covers other local attractions and allows you to see what events are on, by using the yellow scroll bar that changes the time of day and highlights which attractions are open. This tool is a great feature and will benefit anyone planning their holiday to Cornwall or anywhere else in the UK.

Superdry displays events and activities that are suitable for a variety of age groups and interests. From a maze in Gloucester, The Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle and the well-known summer festival in Cornwall, Boardmasters, to many other attractions around the nation.

The section they have written about Bodmin Jail talks about the paranormal events that have occurred in the past, “people hearing crying in the dark, seeing shadows cast from no one and even having their hair pulled by what seemed to be nothing…” 

Summer Or Nothing talks about our After Dark tours, Scary Cinema Night evenings and our Quiz and Curry Night that occurs on the last Sunday of every month!

You can check out what was written about us here.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/y67yjo7p


Posted: 10th July 2019 By: Yiian Thomas