Lostwithiel Duchy Palace

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Royal)

There are major building remains

NameLostwithiel Duchy Palace
Alternative NamesRestormil; Raistormel; Convocation Hall
Historic CountryCornwall
Modern AuthorityCornwall
1974 AuthorityCornwall
Civil ParishLostwithiel

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)

Gatehouse Comments

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.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX104596
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Copyright Bob Shand and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Bob Shand and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 239, 260
  • Berry, Eric, 2009 (rev edn), Convocation Hall (Duchy Palace) Lostwithiel Historic Building Report (Cornwall Buildings Preservation Trust)) online copy
  • 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. 982-3
  • Pevsner, N., 1951, Buildings of England: Cornwall p. 108
  • Henderson, Charles (edited by Rowse, A.L. and Henderson, M.I.), 1963 (original written 1935), Essays in Cornish history (Clarendon Press) p. 48
  • Hext, F.M., 1891, Memorials of Lostwithiel p. 53-4


  • 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. 86
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 323 online copy


  • Guy, N., 2010-11, 'Lostwithiel's 'Duchy Palace'' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 24 p. 202-215
  • Fraser, R., April 2009, 'Rescuing The Duchy Palace' Cornwall Life p. 38-39 online copy
  • Johnson, N. and Rose, P., 1984, 'Quay Street, Lostwithiel' Cornish Archaeology Vol. 23 p. 189
  • Pounds, N.J.G., 1979, 'The Duchy Palace at Lostwithiel, Cornwall' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 136 p. 203-17
  • Whiteley, H.M., 1912-13, 'The Great Coinage Hall of Lostwithiel' Devon and Cornwall notes and queries Vol. 7 p. 225-32


  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 26 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 26 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 23 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 32 online copy
  • Tyers, I., 2010, Old Duchy Palace, Lostwithiel, Cornwall: Dendrochronological Analysis of Oak Timbers (English Heritage Research Department Reports series 1-2010)