Desolate village high on the moor
Minions lays claim to being the highest village in Cornwall, with the highest inn - at more than 1,000 feet (304 metres).The unusual name for this village is said to originate in Minions mound, a huge mass of earth at the west end of the village, purported to be the grave of King Minion, a Celtic 'King', of whom nothing is known but his name.
Minions is increasing in popularity with summer visitors because of the great number of interesting features in the immediate area - in addition to its situation, surrounded by moorland on all sides, and Caradon Hill, with its TV mast, to the East.
At the edge of the village are The Hurlers, Bronze Age stone circles dating from 1,500 BC. Here too is Rillaton Barrow from which the Rillaton Cup was taken in 1837, a copy of which can be seen in the Royal Cornwall Museum. A few hundred yards away is the Longstone, standing alone on the moor. The crosses incised on either side of the Longstone were most probably carved in the Middle Ages, although one school of thought would date them from the Saintly period of the Dark Ages.
Minions is the setting of E. V. Thompson's historical novel Chase the Wind, a century ago the area would have been teeming with miners and quarrymen seeking granite, copper and lead, but today the nearby Cheesewring Quarry on Stowe's Hill, is deserted except for rock climbers, its granite cliff rising to the Cheesewring, a well-known group of balancing rocks. Beyond the Cheesewring - so named from its similarity to the shape left by a cloth-enclosed cheese when the whey has been wrung from it - is an Iron Age hill fort.
Just below the Cheesewring is a cave used by Daniel Gumb, a gifted 18th century thinker and stone-cutter. There were more rooms in the caves that he and his large family lived. His penchant for mathematics can be seen from the fact that one of Euclid's problems is carved on the roof the cave.
The products of the mines and quarries were taken from here to Liskeard and then onto Looe for shipping, on the Liskeard & Caradon Railway built around 1844 and closed in 1916.
One of the last mines to close was the Prince of Wales Shaft, which was only opened in 1910 by Prince and Princess of Wales, lying a short distance along the road to Henwood, and closing around 1914.
All around the village are ruined engine houses and wired-off mine shafts, reminders that this village was at the heart of the copper mining boom of the 1830's. From Minions it is possible to follow the granite sleepers of the old mineral railway around Stowe's Hill and onto the lonely wastes of the heart of the moor near to Kilmar Tor.
The Cheesewring Hotel, the highest pub in Cornwall, dominates the village and provides a well known landmark.
Bodmin Moor Minions Heritage Centre St. Cleer Ancient Sites in Cornwall North Hill The Copper Trail