The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Bottereaux Castle, Boscastle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bottreaux; Boterel

In the civil parish of Forrabury And Minster.
In the historic county of Cornwall.
Modern Authority of Cornwall.
1974 county of Cornwall.
Medieval County of Cornwall.

OS Map Grid Reference: SX09949081
Latitude 50.68609° Longitude -4.69196°

Bottereaux Castle, Boscastle has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The traditional site of Bottreaux Castle is situated at the end of a steeply sloping spur and overlooks a deep valley (one of two that lead from Boscastle). The "Castle" presumably stood on the level site now occupied by a cottage and garden (SX 09949081). It was probably isolated from the high ground to the south by a ditch across the spur but all trace of this is now effaced by the dwellings and garden in Fore Street. The surviving earthworks to the north are somewhat enigmatic. The steep, natural slopes of the spur have been scarped approximately 10.0m below the top to form a crescentic terrace (or a now silted ditch) up to 6.0m wide. An inturned entrance cuts into this terrace but its purpose is obscure as there is apparently no access from here to the spur top. The evidence of scarping ends abruptly on the west and east sides of the spur and gives way instead to steep natural slopes. (PastScape–ref. Field Investigators Comments F1 MJF 14-JUL-76)

The manor, honor, and borough of Bottreaux castle, now called Boscastle, and the manor of Worthyvale, were among the ancient possessions of the baronial family of Botterell or Bottreaux, who were settled here as early as the reign of Henry II. William Botterell, and his younger brother Reginald, were both among the rebel barons in arms against King Henry III.: with the exception of Reginald, who succeeded his elder brother in the possession of this honor, the ten successive owners were all Williams. William Lord Bottreaux, the last of the family, was killed at the battle of St. Albans, in 1462, leaving an only daughter, married to Sir Robert Hungerford: the principal residence of this ancient family was at the castle called after their name, of which the mount only now remains. Leland speaks of the manorplace as a thing of small reputation, "far unworthie the name of a castel; the people there," says he, "call it the court." Carew says, "the diversified rooms of a prison in the castle, for both sexes, better preserved by the inhabitants memorie than discernible by their own endurance, show the same heretofore to have exercised some large jurisdiction." It is probable that the castle had been taken down before Leland's time. (Lysons)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:04

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact