The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Lostwithiel Duchy Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Restormil; Raistormel; Convocation Hall; Stannary Palace

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SX104596
Latitude 50.40660° Longitude -4.66834°

Lostwithiel Duchy Palace has been described as a certain Palace.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Edmund, Earl of Cornwall built a great range of buildings, c 1290, "to accommodate the county court and stannary offices. There was a county hall, a 'coinage' hall ... a prison ... and an exchequer." The buildings were kept in good repair until the 17th c when they were apparently allowed to fall into decay. "Buck's view of 1734 shows them in ruins, and when the Duchy offices were removed from the town in 1874, they were sold and further mutilated. The remains of the coinage hall were converted into a Freemasons' Lodge in 1878, and are still used for this purpose." The remains of walls and archways built into adjacent houses show in some measure the great extent of the whole". (HKW, Henderson) The extent of the Duchy Palace is accurately delineated on the OS 25" 1905 and since then, except for some demolition in the extreme SW corner, there have been few alterations to the property. It has been adapted to use as dwellings and warehouses, and the coinage hall is still the Masonic Lodge. The premises are all of two storey height, constructed of coursed killas with numerous granite doorways, window frames etc. Evidently most of the walling is medieval to C17, if not of C13. Glossed over by Pevsner with the apt remark that "the remains of the Stannary Court .. have not been sufficiently investigated." (Field Investigators Comments F1 NVQ 18-SEP-70). (PastScape)

Although called the Duchy Palace this was the administrative centre of the Duchy. The Dukes residence in the area was Restormel Castle. Restormel was an almost pure pleasure palace for hunting, with some slight agricultural role whereas the Duchy Palace had the court house and jail and was where taxes were collected and also probably had the military function of munitions store and base for what few soldiers there were in the area. The surviving building is a small part of the complex that was said to be modelled on Westminster Palace. The complexities of Cornish government, particularly the Stannaries, were and still are complex and the site reflects both that complexity and the importance of the Duchy.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:53

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact