Truro's Olympic Field

Late July in 1829, you’re sat in a field opposite the Truro Toll House on the Bodmin Road to witness your guilty pleasure.

You’re not alone.

There are thousands of spectators here to see 160 men wearing Stone Age pants in a wrestling free-for-all. 

A lady asks you why it’s called ‘Olympic Field’.

You palm her off with the story of Corin, ancestor of the Cornish who got the wrestling bug from the Ancient Greeks and throw in the fact that wrestling is one of the five original Olympic sports, but really, you want blood, not conversation.  

So you burp and she retreats.

You scream on your hero, Charles Friggens of St Just in Penwith and one by one, he works his way through the pack of sacrificial men.  

A Methodist preacher tries to protest, but he’s upended and thrown out with the battered opponents. 

The last man standing is James Rowe, an outhouse of a man from Ladock.

He has 5 years on Friggens, but the wise old ox knocks him out with a throw you could read on the Richter scale.

Being a gentle giant, he scoops up Rowe and lays him before his mates, where he comes to, then walks home 6 miles with his runner-up prize of 10 sovereigns.

Friggens bags twice as much and buys a farm that he ploughs by hand until 81, so they say down St Just way.