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HER Number:10363
Name:LISKEARD CASTLE - Medieval castle, Post Medieval school, Post Medieval lock up, Post Medieval police station


Liskeard Castle is traditionally ascribed to Earl Richard "King of the Romans", who died in 1272.

Grid Reference:SX 2535 6461
Parish:Liskeard, Caradon, Cornwall
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Protected Status

  • Conservation Area: LISKEARD

Other References/Statuses

  • Cornwall SURVEY NAME (temporary): jgschoolpublic
  • OS No. (OS Quarter-sheet and OS No.): SX26SE 2
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 10363
  • SMR No. (OS Quarter-sheet and SMR No.): SX26SE 2

Monument Types

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

  • SCHOOL (18th Century to Unknown - 1785 AD)

  • LOCK UP (19th Century to Unknown - 1854 AD)

  • POLICE STATION (19th Century to Unknown - 1854 AD)

Full description

Liskeard Castle is traditionally ascribed to Earl Richard "King of the Romans", who died in 1272.

In the "inquisitio post mortem" of Earl Edmund in 1301, and in the charter of 1337, creating the Black Prince as Duke of Cornwall, there is no mention of Liskeard Castle, although other royal castles are mentioned. A survey at this time does include a manor house which might have been fortified.

In 1337 it was described as 'surrounded by a wall which is in ruins and a third part broken to the ground. Within the said wall a hall and two cellars adjoining, three hambers at each endof the hall, a chapel, a small chamber over the gateway, and the gate of the manor, which are all weak and require great and immediate repair' (9).

William Worcestre describes the castle as standing in 1478, but by Leland's time it was all in ruins.

Norden, in 1584, calls it "an ancient house wholly ruined"; Carew records that "the castle served the Earl of Cornwall for one of his houses, but now, that latter is worm-eaten out of date and use".

The survey of crown lands in 1649 states that "the structure was in such decay that it was not worth removing". It contained by estimation 96 perches. An old school stood within the walls. Trees were planted in the site in 1747. By 1773, few of the ruins could be seem. In 1785, the Grammar school was rebuilt and remained in use to 1854 (b8).

The Tithe Map shows the shape of the grounds before 1842, when they were landscaped, walls rebuilt, more trees planted and walks formed. The school was converted into a prison and police house in 1854 and are recorded as such on the 1st Edition 1:2500 1880 OS Map (b8). Pounds believes that the castle was more extensive than that at Helston which was also owned by the Earls of Cornwall. The area is now a park and no trace of the castle can be seen (b6).

<1> UNKNOWN, 18--, W Antiquary, VOL 10, 56 (Unedited Source). SCO5721.

<2> Tithe Award, 1840s, Liskeard (Bibliographic reference). SCO4805.

<3> Mackenzie, 1897, Castles of England, VOL 2, 7 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3888.

<4> Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, 1937, N Pounds: 'The Medieval Castle in Cornwall', NO 104, 30 (Article in serial). SCO4152.

<5> Carew, R, 1969, The Survey of Cornwall 1602, 202 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3044.

<6> Ordnance Survey, 1970s, 1:10,000 OS Map (Cartographic materials). SCO4045.

<7> Leland, 1967, Early Tours in Devon and Cornwall, 49 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3860.

<8> Sheppard, PA, 1980, The Historic Towns of Cornwall, p 47 (Cornwall Event Report). SCO4422.

<9> Vernacular Architecture Group, 2019, VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE GROUP SPRING CONFERENCE 2019 EAST CORNWALL, p51 (Report). SCO28711.

Sources / Further Reading

[1]SCO5721 - Unedited Source: UNKNOWN. 18--. W Antiquary. W ANTIQUARY. VOL 10, 56.
[2]SCO4805 - Bibliographic reference: Tithe Award. 1840s. Liskeard.
[3]SCO3888 - Bibliographic reference: Mackenzie. 1897. Castles of England. VOL 2, 7.
[4]SCO4152 - Article in serial: Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society. 1937. N Pounds: 'The Medieval Castle in Cornwall'. RCPS Vol 104. NO 104, 30.
[5]SCO3044 - Bibliographic reference: Carew, R. 1969. The Survey of Cornwall 1602. 202.
[6]SCO4045 - Cartographic materials: Ordnance Survey. 1970s. 1:10,000 OS Map.
[7]SCO3860 - Bibliographic reference: Leland. 1967. Early Tours in Devon and Cornwall. 49.
[8]SCO4422 - Cornwall Event Report: Sheppard, PA. 1980. The Historic Towns of Cornwall. p 47.
[9]SCO28711 - Report: Vernacular Architecture Group. 2019. VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE GROUP SPRING CONFERENCE 2019 EAST CORNWALL. Devon and Cornwall. p51.

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Related records

MCO56387Parent of: LISKEARD - C19 garden (Monument)