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Lesingey Round, Penzance

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle Horneck

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SW45343035
Latitude 50.11864° Longitude -5.56372°

Lesingey Round, Penzance has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Castle Horneck, (commonly called Lezingy Round) on the hill top... about a mile west of Penzance, is a circular inclosure of nearly an acre and a half..formed by a broad and high annular mound of earth, still in good preservation' (Edmunds). Lesingey Round is a 'small univallate earthwork of a type common in Cornwall. Rampart 12ft. - 15ft. high from bottom of ditch, c. 6ft. high in interior. Ditch remains without encroachment. Almost undisturbed. It is situated on the summit of a hill with a good all round view but the natural slopes are not very steep. The entrance could not be identified; the inner slope of the rampart is absent in places but the outer slope is continuous. A field wall has been erected round the outer perimeter of the ditch, and the whole of the area enclosed is wooded. There are no traces of occupation on the near level interior of the earthwork. No conclusions could be made regarding the date of this feature. Its situation and the strength of the bank indicates a defensive purpose. It seems possible that a mediaeval occupation of an earlier fortification may have taken place,and that it may have been the Castle Horneck referred to by Norden. In 1696 the field name was 'Castle Close' (see 6"). The present house called 'Castle Horneck' is 400.0m to the ESE (see Corn. 74 NW 55) (Field Investigators Comments–F1 JHP 29-SEP-60). Norden refers to Castle Horneck as an ancient ruined castle standing on a mount near Penzance. (Norden's survey of Cornwall took place c.1584.) (Lake). (PastScape)

From the situation, which is much like Restormel, traces of a medieval castle might be expected here, but none are known. (VCH)

This site is about 400m west of Castle Horneck and it is possible that this is the site of the C12 castle reported and that the place name has been utilised by a later building on a nearby but different site. Clearly there is some uncertain history of a medieval castle and this earthwork is of a form that has led to several interpretations. It would benefit from further archaeological investigation but its current overgrown state make this unlikely.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:23

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