The location of North Hill village
or Churchtown owes much to the local geography.
As will be seen below, the site may have been a northern outpost of the
Manor of Rillaton where people controlled by the
manor worked and lived.
The site is just beyond the north
eastern fringe of Bodmin Moor which provides a
degree of protection from the wind and rain which comes primarily from the
south west. The moor also provides an abundance of building materials in
the native granite and woodland. It is close to the River Lynher which provides an inexhaustible supply of fresh
clean water from as well as the motive power to drive millwheels. The land
on the west side of the Lynher is steep and more
difficult to farm which explains why a location on the eastern side of the
river was chosen.
A gently sloping platform of land
on the eastern side and immediately to the north and east of the village
was better suited to farming both animals and crops. Being located over 100
feet above the Lynher the site is dry, well
drained and affords excellent views around the nearby countryside,
particularly from the top of the church tower; it was always worth having
advance notice of ‘visitors’, particularly when the country was in turmoil.
Being only six miles from Launceston, which was the county town of Cornwall
and the location of the Priory of St Stephen, this gave the local people a
proximity to news, administration, markets and protection.