Liskeard Castle

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Other/Unknown), and also as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameLiskeard Castle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCornwall
Modern AuthorityCornwall
1974 AuthorityCornwall
Civil ParishLiskeard

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)

Gatehouse Comments

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.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX253646
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Salter, Mike, 2002, Index and Amendments to Mike Salter's English Castles Books (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 6
  • Higham, Robert A., 1999, 'Castles, Fortified Houses and Fortified Towns in the Middle Ages' in Kain, R. and Ravenhill, W., Historical Atlas of South-West England (University of Exeter Press) p. 136-43
  • Spreadbury, I. D., 1984, Castles in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (Redruth)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 77
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 980
  • Elliot-Binns, 1955, Medieval Cornwall (London) p. 43
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1897, Castles of England Vol. 2 p. 7 online copy
  • Hitchins, Fortescue, 1824, A History of Cornwall (Samuel Drew) Vol. 1 p. 425 online copy
  • Lysons, D. and S., 1814, Magna Britannia Vol. 3 Cornwall p. 201 online transcription


  • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 81
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 208 online copy
  • Harvey, J.H. (ed), 1969, Itineraries (of) William Worcestre (Clarendon Press) p. 21


  • Preston-Jones, Ann and Rose, Peter, 1986, 'Medieval Cornwall' Cornish Archaeology Hendhyscans Kernow Vol. 25 p. 135-185 online copy
  • Passmore, P.A.S., 1961-7, Old Cornwall Federation of Old Cornwall Societies Vol. 6 p. 436

Primary Sources


  • Bridget Gillard, July 2005, Cornwall & Scilly Urban Survey: Liskeard (Cornwall County Council) Download copy