I suspect that some people may wonder if there’s any connection between the 2015 film of the same name and this small village on the south-eastern edge of Bodmin Moor, but as far as I’m aware it’s just purely co-coincidental. Mind you, those pesky little yellow creatures have existed since the beginning of time, and strangely enough the village has many ancient features on its doorstep, so who knows?
I don’t suppose it’s any co-incidence though that the area boasts so many ancient features, as at 300 metres, Minions is the highest village in Cornwall.
Rising above the village even further is Caradon Hill which is topped by a transmitting station with a 237 metre high mast, so the village isn’t difficult to find.
The hill also gives its name to the Caradon Mining District which is part of the Cornish World Heritage site.
During the 19th century around 650,000 tons of copper were mined in the area, and there is plenty of evidence in the form of engine houses that still dot the landscape. One of them is used as the Minions Heritage Centre where you can find out more about the landscape in general as well as the locality’s industrial heritage.
Minions gets its name from a round barrow known as Minions Mound, but there are plenty of other antiquities nearby – the most obvious one being ‘The Hurlers’.
The Hurlers are at least 3,000 years old and legend has it that some local men who were playing the Cornish game of hurling on the sabbath were punished and turned to stone.
The ancient history around Minions is every bit as intriguing as its industrial heritage, and I intend going into more detail about both in due course.
The moorland is a great place to see some of these antiquities, but the landscape itself is also of great interest. The granite outcrops are particularly distinctive.
This granite was quarried, and a railway installed to transport the stone, and although the lines may be long gone, the tracks are still here which makes it easier for walkers to negotiate their way across the moor. It has to be said though that you still need to take sensible precautions if you intend walking around these parts, especially as the weather can have a mind of its own.
The village was mainly built between 1863 and 1880 purely to accommodate miners and quarry workers, and you’ll be pleased to hear that it still supports a good local pub and other shops and cafes where you can get some provisions, or perhaps finish your day off with a cream tea.
Minions may only be small, but you’ll be surprised at how long you can spend here. Just one word of warning though – if you see any little yellow and blue creatures hanging around – please don’t throw them any of your pasty – you may just turn into stone, and Minions has enough of that already.