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Penstowe Castle, Kilkhampton

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The castles

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SS24311158
Latitude 50.87694° Longitude -4.49931°

Penstowe Castle, Kilkhampton has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Earthworks of a motte and bailey, possibly an adulterine castle which was destroyed during the reign of Henry II (1154-89). Excavations on the motte, in 1950, located buildings and C12 pottery. Motte measured 18m east-west by 8m north-south and had an approximate height of 9.3m. It was separated from the inner bailey by a ditch 8m wide and 3.6m deep. Inner bailey was rectangular in plan, it measured 32m east-west by 26m north-south and was surrounded by a rampart 9m wide and 2.4m high on the east side. The north and south sides were defined by a bank 2m wide and 0.5m high. The outer bailey was separated from the inner bailey by a V-shaped ditch 7m wide and 1.5m deep. It measured 26m east-west by 17m north-south. Traces of a rampart, 3m wide and 1.2m high, were identified on the east side. No traces of buildings were identified in either of the baileys. (PastScape)

It is likely that the motte and bailey castle at Kilkhampton was built in between 1066 and the end of the 12th century AD. No documentation is available relating directly to the castle, so a more exact date is not possible. The site now exists as a series of earthworks, apart from some footings remaining on the motte. It is sited on top of an elongated knoll, from which the ground falls very steeply to deep valleys on the north and south, and is approached by a narrow neck of land from the east. The castle consists of a motte with two baileys: one of two known examples in Cornwall (the other being East Leigh Berries). The oval motte is situated at the western end of the castle. It is 18m in length east to west, and 8m from north to south. A V-shaped ditch below the motte separates it from the inner bailey. The inner bailey is rectangular and measures 30m east to west, and 25m north to south. The outer bailey, separated from the inner by a V-shaped ditch, is of a trapezoidal form: 24m east to west; 20m north to south; 14m north to south-east. (Cornwall & Scilly HER)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:46

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