Set on the edge of Bodmin Moor, the former mining village of St Cleer is the centre of one of Cornwall's largest parishes, and has a long and fascinating history.
Dominating the village centre is the impressive Norman church, the first place of worship on the same site being built of wood in 800 AD. In 1250 the Knight Ingelram de Bray of St Clair sur Epte, built a new church after he married the heiress of the nearby Manor of Rosecraddoc, dedicating it to his birthplace. This is believed to have been the origin of the name St Cleer though others believe it came from St Clare of Assissi or St Clarus, the first Bishop of Rennes.
The benevolent Knight also built a granite chapel to cover the well down the hill from the church, The well of St. Cleer, the baptistery or chapel by which it was enclosed, and an ancient cross about 9 feet high, form a group by the roadside 100 yards eastward below the church, north of Liskeard. The chapel was destroyed by fanatics in the Civil War, but appears to have been similar in size and construction to that which now stands by Dupath Well, near Callington. It was restored in 1864 as a memorial to the Rev. John Jope, sixty-seven years Vicar of St. Cleer. The well is said to have been once used as a boussening or ducking pool, for the cure of mad people. Attempts have from time to time been made to cart away some of the stones of the chapel, but mysterious power has always returned them at night. The entrance is under two low round arches, the roof covered with ivy and brushwood. The water flowing out of the well fills a pool or basin, St. Clare was born about 1200, in Italy, and died 1252. She became the abbess of a monastery of Benedictine nuns, and was foundress of the order of the Poor Clares.
Today the village has expanded keeping the local primary school full of pupils, as is the pre-school which is based at the nearby War Memorial Hall. The hall has a busy and dedicated committee who organise many events in the village and are currently fundraising for a new more modern building, more suited to the needs of the 21st century. Another excellent facility is the much used Sports Club and playing field at the Hockings House end of the village.
Residents are lucky because they have excellent rural transport to get them to the nearest town of Liskeard, plus two Taxis services to take them wherever they want. However, shopping wise, almost everything is available for daily needs within the village itself. A busy Post Office and grocery store is the hub of the village, being a meeting place as well as a 'lifeline' for senior residents, while on the edge of the moorland area known as The Downs is a comparatively new business known as Taste of the Westcountry which specialises in fresh locally grown produce.
If you don't fancy cooking a meal the well known "Stag Inn" is a popular venue for some excellent food and on a Friday night there is often live entertainment from local musicians which is much enjoyed. The Legion have held their meetings at this Inn since August 2003. The other venue in the village for food is the "Market Inn". Both Inns stock 'real ale'. The village also has its own hairdresser, where there has been one in the same building for more than 50 years.
The "War Memorial" is situated between the Church and the Market Inn and stands on a large paved area which has a bench and flagpole. All three plus the paved area are maintained by the St Cleer Branch (every Tuesday). The Union Flag is hoisted at all state occasions and sadly half masted on the demise of any of our members.
St Cleer is a sought after area in which to live because of its close proximity to nearby towns, rugged beauty and active community, but most important of all its business people bring residents everything they need for their daily living.