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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bodrugam; Sterling Castle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SX00024371
Latitude 50.25952° Longitude -4.80582°

Bodrugan has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Spreadbury writes that, according to Borlase, a splendid castle in Goran of which remains survived till the end of C18?

The 1st Edition OS 2500 map of 1880 records the 'site of a castle' on Castle Hill. This was possibly the site of an 18th century castelled residence recorded by Tonkin who noted that 'adjoining Castle Hill earthwork, James Maxwell, of a noble Scottish family, has built a small castellated house, pleasantly seated. Known as Sterling Castle, alias Scotland, because of Maxwell's nationallity'. A building is shown here on the OS 1813 map, but Maclaughlan's plan of 1846 shows two small enclosures and a 'tumulus' with no indication of a building. In 1968, the OS surveyor recorded that the site, which has no defensive potential, was unlikely to be a castle, and the enclosures are unlikely to be earlier than 18th century. Peter Rose (CAU) made a sketch survey in 1983. He found the site to consist of four small roughly rectangular enclosures 25 by 15m, 22 by 20m, 20 by 17m, and 15 by 12m, defined by dry stone walling, banks, Cornish hedges and revetting. The building itself was not located. (Cornwall & Scilly HER)


Gatehouse had, prior to 22 March 2010 and reading the Cornwall and Scilly HER record, though this might refer to a medieval castle possibly at or near Bodrugan Barton and gave the following comments–The PastScape gives SX002436 (NMRN 431109) for an alleged site of a castle with no further supporting evidence. There is also an uncertain earthwork nearby called Castle Hill at SX000437 (NMRN 431118), and a square earthwork marked castle on the 1st edition OS at SX024427. However, in my opinion, Borlase's castle is most likely Bodrugan Barton, described in the PastScape as 'Medieval barton owned by the Bodrugan family. The buildings comprised a farmhouse and chapel and were accompanied possibly by a park. The chapel is documented in 1372, and like other buildings in the complex was pulled down in 1786. Only a wall of the chapel remains as part of a barn.' This is clearly high status enough to be called a castle and the date for destruction is correct. Leland records Bodrugan Park as having contained the 'house' of Sir Henry Bodrugan.

Bodrugan Barton, the home of the Bodrugan family. The remains of the mediaeval house are few, the present farmhouse being no earlier that C17. At right angles to it is a long range of outhouses lying E-W, of which the eastern part seems to be the remnant of the mediaeval mansion. It is generally spoken of as 'the chapel', and so it may have been. Otho Bodrugan has a licence for a chapel in 1372. Much of the masonry, however, has been rebuilt and some of the cut stonework is obviusly out of place. Among these is a good C14 doorway of Pentewan stone. Borlase describes the remains of Bodrugan 'castle' in 1760 as being very extensive - a large hall and kitchen, and a chapel converted into a barn. All these were pulled down c. 1786, but Sheppard lists an extant mediaeval barn at SX 01464347. (PastScape)

Whilst it is fairly clear that Borlase's castle was the post-medieval house Sterling Castle the evidence of a high status medieval house at Bodrugan is also clear. How defensive this house was and how old the castle place names are is not at all clear. It may well be that Bodrugan Barton should be included in this gazetteer of medieval fortifications but as it has never been described as a fortification it will not be included.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:04

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