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HER Number:18163.71
Name:CARN BREA - Medieval castle, Medieval chapel, Post Medieval beacon

Summary

Carn Brea castle, first mentioned in 1478, may have contained a chapel, was used as a hunting lodge and later as a beacon for shipping.

Grid Reference:SW 6863 4086
Parish:Carn Brea, Kerrier, Cornwall
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument CO79: Carn Brea Castle
  • Conservation Area: CARN BREA

Other References/Statuses

  • OS No. (OS Quarter-sheet and OS No.): SW64SE 6
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 18163.71
  • SMR No. (OS Quarter-sheet and SMR No.): SW64SE 113.11

Monument Type(s):

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BEACON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Full description

First mentioned by William Worcestre in 1478 (b10), the medieval Carn Brea castle was described by Hals in the early C18 as "built four square of lime and stone about 40 feet high and 20 feet square" (b1). It is constructed on a natural rock outcrop, resulting in irregular layout and levels, as noted by Borlase in the 1750s (b2). Henderson says that the castle was used as a hunting lodge in the medieval period (b8). Tangye suggests it may also have contained a chapel at this time (b16).Though partly rebuilt and extended in the C18 and C19 as a hunting lodge the structure retained some medieval features noted by later visitors (b16). Wynne noted in 1755 that "Mrs Basset has lately erected a small pleasure house on this hill in ye appearance of a fort, where an ancient British (fort) formerly stood". Swete visiting the castle in 1780, found it fully "modernised" by "the last Mr Basset". In the later C19 the castle was further altered, with a new south wing. Its use as a beacon for shipping was recorded in 1898 when this was stated to have been stipulated in the lease for a long time previously, the tenant agreeing to show a light in the north facing window. The castle continued to be let to various tenants, with periods of disuse and disrepair in the 1950s and 1970s, until renovation and extension in 1975-1980 as a restaurant. Post-medieval features revealed in the course of the latter restoration include blocked apertures and recesses. The OS fieldworker in 1970 says the NW side incorporates heavy boulder masonry in the lower 3.0m, but with no clear break between this and the later fabric (b1).

--------------------------------
Site history:
1: 1970. NVQ / OS
2: 1979. SHEPPARD, P / IAM
3: 1981. SHEPPARD, P / IAM
4: 1983. SHEPPARD, P / IAM
5: 1985. SG, AS / CAU
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<1> HALS, W, 17--, MSS (Unedited Source). SCO5485.


<2> Borlase, W, 1754, Antiquities Historical and Monumental of the County of Cornwall, 350 (Bibliographic reference). SCO2878.


<3> Lysons, D & S, 1814, Magna Britannia, VOL 3, CORNWALL (Bibliographic reference). SCO3885.


<4> WILLS, SJ, 1890, CARN BREA HILL, VOL 1, NO 5, 51-52 (Unedited Source). SCO6510.


<5> WILLS, SJ, 1890, CARN BREA HILL, VOL 1, NO 6, 63 (Unedited Source). SCO6510.


<6> WILLS, SJ, 1890, CARN BREA HILL, VOL 1, NO 7, 78-79 (Unedited Source). SCO6510.


<7> Hencken, HO, 1932, The Archaeology of Cornwall and Scilly, 128 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3489.


<8> Henderson, C, 1935, Essays in Cornish History, 162 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3501.


<9> Ordnance Survey, 1970s, 1:10,000 OS Map (Cartographic materials). SCO4045.


<10> Harvey, J (Ed), 1969, Itineraries of William of Worcestre, 21 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3466.


<11> Mercer, R, 1970, The Neolithic Settlement on Carn Brea: Preliminary Report, 1970 (Cornish Archaeology No 9, 1970), VOL 9, 54 (Article in serial). SCO3933.


<12> SWETE, J, 1971, A TOUR IN CORNWALL IN 1780, VOL 6, 3 (Unedited Source). SCO8119.


<13> THOMAS, AC, 1973, CARN BREA, REDRUTH (Unedited Source). SCO8208.

Sources / Further Reading

[1]SCO5485 - Unedited Source: HALS, W. 17--. MSS.
[2]SCO2878 - Bibliographic reference: Borlase, W. 1754. Antiquities Historical and Monumental of the County of Cornwall. 350.
[3]SCO3885 - Bibliographic reference: Lysons, D & S. 1814. Magna Britannia. VOL 3, CORNWALL.
[4]SCO6510 - Unedited Source: WILLS, SJ. 1890. CARN BREA HILL. THE EAGLE. VOL 1, NO 5, 51-52.
[5]SCO6510 - Unedited Source: WILLS, SJ. 1890. CARN BREA HILL. THE EAGLE. VOL 1, NO 6, 63.
[6]SCO6510 - Unedited Source: WILLS, SJ. 1890. CARN BREA HILL. THE EAGLE. VOL 1, NO 7, 78-79.
[7]SCO3489 - Bibliographic reference: Hencken, HO. 1932. The Archaeology of Cornwall and Scilly. 128.
[8]SCO3501 - Bibliographic reference: Henderson, C. 1935. Essays in Cornish History. 162.
[9]SCO4045 - Cartographic materials: Ordnance Survey. 1970s. 1:10,000 OS Map.
[10]SCO3466 - Bibliographic reference: Harvey, J (Ed). 1969. Itineraries of William of Worcestre. 21.
[11]SCO3933 - Article in serial: Mercer, R. 1970. The Neolithic Settlement on Carn Brea: Preliminary Report, 1970 (Cornish Archaeology No 9, 1970). CA No 9. VOL 9, 54.
[12]SCO8119 - Unedited Source: SWETE, J. 1971. A TOUR IN CORNWALL IN 1780. JRIC. VOL 6, 3.
[13]SCO8208 - Unedited Source: THOMAS, AC. 1973. CARN BREA, REDRUTH. CORNISH BUILDINGS GROUP.

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Related records

18163Part of: CARN BREA - Neolithic tor enclosure, Iron Age hillfort (Monument)

Images

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