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 

Cayl Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kayle Castle; Castle Cayle; Castellum Treclysten

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SW58343565
Latitude 50.17150° Longitude -5.38562°

Cayl Castle has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Cayl Castle, in Phillack parish, is a mile east of Riviere. (Leland)

Cayle-Castle, Castle-Cayle or Kayel, spoken of by Leland, with a moat and a keep, belongs to the heirs of John Curnow, Esq.; there is a farm-house within the moat: we find no intimation of the ancient proprietors of this castle: another castle is spoken of by Leland, as almost at the mouth of the Hayle, called Rivier or Theodore's Castle; the site of which has been buried by the sands. The Riviere estate belongs to the Cornish Copper Company, who are possessed also of Trevassack, and part of Ventonleage. Treglisson is the property of Mr. Richard Nicholls. (Lysons)

Castle Kayle is marked on current OS map editions. It is first recorded by William Worcestre, who referred to it as the ruined 'Castellum Treclysten' . Leland calls it 'Cayl Castelle' in the early C16. The Tithe Award records the field-names of 'Little Rounds' and 'Round Moor' for enclosures at Castle Kayle. The author of b3 says "at Castle Cayle there are two circular enclosures, each consisting of a rampart and outer ditch. The little round is some 40 yards in diameter, and the great round about 60. The latter lies to the west of the former and is on somewhat higher ground. These rounds are so close to one another that at one point the ditches unite". Edmonds recorded that by 1861 the ditch between the enclosures (to the east) had been infilled, as had the ditch nearest the road (on the west side). Much of the earthwork was levelled to make a garden for a newly erected cottage at the roadside. Henderson appears to have originally thought that Castle Kayle was a medieval work but he described it as two ovate camps. He also mentions a third camp to the west of the road that was destroyed in the 1870s. He is probably wrong on the final point as other sources (eg. Edmonds) do not mention a third camp. Carr describes the site as a single earthwork but with "irregularities on the east side". He suggests that the entrance originally lay on the north-west side where a cottage had been built (this is probably the cottage mentioned by Edmonds). Survey by the OS in 1965 indicates that the major earthwork has a well preserved rampart on the west and on the south-west, where it is augmented by an outer ditch, now used as a fieldway. Elsewhere the rampart has been entirely destroyed although the ditch survives on the south and east sides. The lesser enclosure is represented by a scarp centred at SW 5843 3547. Its defensive situation, size, and shape are more typical of an Iron Age round than a hillfort. The smaller enclosure is simply annexed to the larger one. Recent OS maps and field visits indicate that although this is a scheduled site, there has been considerably encroachment of the earthwork by farm buildings and some removal of field boundaries has rendered the prehistoric enclosures less clear. The round is visible on air photographs as a curvilinear bank, whilst the appended enclosure, with south-east facing entrance, is visible only as a crop mark. (Cornwall & Scilly HER)

Gatehouse thanks Chris Bond for identify this as Kayle Castle an Iron Age Round.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:23

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