(Broad Oak, Broadoak, Brodehog,
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The parish is named after the Old
English for Broad Hook or Oak, it is often called Broadoak in documents.
It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Brodehog when Earl
Aelfric had held it before 1066. At that time, it is recorded as having
land for 4 ploughs but only two ploughs there with 2 slaves. There were
also 3 villagers and 4 smallholders. The parish then consisted of 20 acres
of woodland and 100 acres of pasture.
It has been known as Broadoke, but is now spelled 'Bradock/Braddock'. The
parish lies in the hundred and deanery of West. It is bounded on the east
by St Pinnock, on the south by Bocconoc, on the west by St Winnow, and on
the north it is separated from the parishes of Cardinham, Warleggan, and
St Neot by the River Fowey. On Bradock Downs are ancient barrows from the
Iron Age, from which urns of rough pottery have been found.
Bradock Down was the scene of two important events in the English Civil
War. First, a victory obtained by the King's forces early in 1643 under
the command of Sir Bevill Granville, Sir Nicholas Slanning, Sir Ralph
Hopton, Arundell, Trevanion and other gentlemen of the county, over a much
larger force commanded by Ruthven, Parliamentary Governor of Plymouth. The
victory was so complete that Ruthven escaped to Saltash with great
difficulty and accompanied by just a few of his troops, from whence they
were speedily driven across the Tamar. This advantage mainly contributed
to the Royalist victory at Stratton on the 16th May of the same year. The
second battle was on a more extensive scale. Lord Essex's Parliamentary
Army had entered Cornwall in 1644, followed by the King in person. King
Charles had sent up his headquarters at Boconnoc, whilist Essex had
headquarted at Lanhydrock. After a number of skirmishes, Essex negotiated
for a withdrawl; on 31st August, Essex abandond his army and reached
Plymouth. The Parliamentary cavalry forced its way through the Royalists,
leaving the infantry to fight its way out of Bradock and Boconnoc Downs,
with a great loss of life. The discomfiture of Lord Essex's army left the
King without an enemy in arms in Cornwall.