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Castle Goff

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SX08318260
Latitude 50.61166° Longitude -4.71041°

Castle Goff has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


An earthwork formed of a single bank and ditch, about 200' in diameter, with an outwork about 300' long, by 120' wide to the W. It comprises a well-preserved sub-circular enclosure of 0.5m internal diameter. The perimeter bank measures 1.8m high internally, and 3.5m externally, from the bottom of an outer ditch averaging 0.8m deep and 8.0m wide. There is a simple causeway entrance gap on the W. side. An unusual feature is the Western Annex, 106.0m N-S by 36.0m E-W. This comprises a bank and outer ditch now partly incorporated within a modern field boundary; its original entrance on the W is now blocked. The annex is evidently of subsequent construction since its terminals do not encroach upon the ditch of the inner work. The northern terminal is above average strength for a length of 12.0m, with a maximum height of 2.0m externally and 1.7m internally; westward of this the bank has been lowered and spread, and the corresponding outer ditch is weak. Both enclosures have slightly undulating interiors and are under pasture. Although of uncommon plan the whole appears to represent an IA/RB 'Round' type settlement. (PastScape)

Analysis of earthwork enclosures at present classed as rounds and multiple enclosures may produce further examples (of C11/C12 castles). A good candidate is Castle Goff in the important manor of Helstone-in-Trigg, perhaps a ring-work and bailey. (Preston-Jones and Rose p. 171)

The uncommon plan is remarkably like that of a ringwork and bailey. There is a(nother) round, Delinuth Camp' 300m NNW. The site is not far from Lanteglos church, certain of at least Norman date and there is a deer park of 120 acres described as ancient in 1337 (PastScape record 432013), although this probably belonged to the Domesday manor of Helstone. Delinuth camp is less well preserved than Castle Goff - is this because it has been more ploughed in recent times or because Goff is a thousand or more years less old? Has the nearby presence of an Iron Age site influenced the interpretation of Goff? Looking at the air photos at it is very hard to see this as anything other than a ringwork and bailey of classic form. It is, of course, also possible this site started as an Iron Age Round and was adapted into a medieval ringwork and bailey castle.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:04

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