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Ruan Lanihorne Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Larihorn; Lanyhorn; Shepestall

In the civil parish of Ruanlanihorne.
In the historic county of Cornwall.
Modern Authority of Cornwall.
1974 county of Cornwall.
Medieval County of Cornwall.

OS Map Grid Reference: SW89484193
Latitude 50.24005° Longitude -4.95373°

Ruan Lanihorne Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are no visible remains.

Description

n 1334 John Le Erchedekne obtained a licence to fortify his house at Lanyhorn. The completed castle appears to have comprised a round keep, known locally as the 'round tower', with attached higher and base courts, the higher court extending by tradition north of the road leading from the church to the mill. Six of the seven recorded towers were standing at the beginning of C18 but by 1780 only the 40ft. high remains of part of the round tower survived. Two stone chimneys attached to the round tower, one being incorporated in an adjoining house, were described by Whitaker and seen by Whitley who considered them later than the castle. Beneath this house was a cellar thought to be the dungeon. The tower had been pulled down for building stone by 1889. A fragment of the castle wall consisting of flat bedded slate stones filled in with rubble set in clay, about 5ft wide and 8ft high, still stood. The furnace beyond this wall had four flues and formed part of the castle brewhouse. The tradition of the site survives in the 'Malt House' built about 1870. The 'Water Gate' appears to be where two parallel walls were discovered and in the yard behind a human skeleton was dug up in about 1750. No traces of the west wall were visible in 1889 but Whitaker records an oak beam, said to be part of the castle floor, being found in the gutter about 1775. Whitley traced the north wall for almost its whole length, being about 5ft. wide and similar in construction to the south wall. Between the north wall and the road, in a long narrow garden, were found about 1789 the foundations of walls forming a suite of rooms on one side of the higher court. This court had walls bonded with lime mortar instead of clay, indicating a later date. Building stones from the castle can be seen in the walls of the village. There are no identifiable remains of a castle at Ruan Lanihorne. (PastScape)

There are now no remains of Lanihorne castle: Leland describes it "as a castelle of an eight towers, then decaying for lak of coverture." Tonkin describes a large tower, which was pulled down in 1718; and says, that within 30 years of the time of his writing, six out of eight towers of the castle had been standing: some cottages have been built on the site. (Lysons, 1814)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1335 Jan 31 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

Seems to have been a large house, although the use, in parts, of clay bonding instead of mortar suggests perhaps not as strong as the description of eight towers might imply.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 28/10/2016 08:38:43

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