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Liskeard Castle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SX25366460
Latitude 50.45526° Longitude -4.46110°

Liskeard Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are no visible remains.


Possible castle mentioned by William Worcs. Leland writes 'There was a Castel on an Hiile in the Toun side by North from St. Martin. It is now all in Ruine, Fragments and Peaces of waulles yet stond... The Castell was the Erles of Cornwall. It is now used somtym for a pound for Cattell.' PastScape record states 'Site of a medieval castle or fortified manor built originally in 1337 and rebuilt in 1361. The site is now a park and playground and there are no extant remains.' The king's surveys report the wall surrounding the manor house as ruinous in 1337, repairs were made in 1341-2 and 1361 (The little hall was rebuilt, not the castle!). Higham put this in his list of castles built prior to 1300.

At Liskeard was a castle or fortified manor-house belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall. In 1337, when extensive repairs were needed, it was described as 'a certain manor-house surrounded by a wall'. Within the wall were a hall and chambers, adjoining cellars, a chapel and a chamber over the gateway. The hall was rebuilt in 1361, but after repairs in the reign of Richard II the buildings were totally neglected, and by Leland's time were 'al in ruine', being used as a cattle pound. Mackenzie notes a few remains still standing next to a field called 'Castle Park'. (PastScape–ref. HKW, Leland, Mackenzie, Lysons)

The town was important in medieval Cornwall, had been a pre-Conquest administrative centre and royal manor and, according to Leland, had the second most important market in Cornwall. The castle seems to have been modest and although it had a gatehouse there is no mention of a great tower or keep of any form. The town development and landscaping of the park making reading the map difficult but the area of the castle seems to be an elongated rounded rectangle with a form suggestive of a motte (or ringwork) and bailey and one would certainly expect an early castle at this significant administrative centre (c.f. the other post-Conquest market towns of Count Robert; Launceston and Trematon). Hitchens records an associated deep park in C14.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:04

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