The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Ruan Lanihorne Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Larihorn; Lanyhorn; Shepestall

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SW89484193
Latitude 50.24005° Longitude -4.95373°

Ruan Lanihorne Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are no visible remains.


n 1334 John Le Erchedekne obtained a licence to fortify his house at Lanyhorn. The completed castle appears to have comprised a round keep, known locally as the 'round tower', with attached higher and base courts, the higher court extending by tradition north of the road leading from the church to the mill. Six of the seven recorded towers were standing at the beginning of C18 but by 1780 only the 40ft. high remains of part of the round tower survived. Two stone chimneys attached to the round tower, one being incorporated in an adjoining house, were described by Whitaker and seen by Whitley who considered them later than the castle. Beneath this house was a cellar thought to be the dungeon. The tower had been pulled down for building stone by 1889. A fragment of the castle wall consisting of flat bedded slate stones filled in with rubble set in clay, about 5ft wide and 8ft high, still stood. The furnace beyond this wall had four flues and formed part of the castle brewhouse. The tradition of the site survives in the 'Malt House' built about 1870. The 'Water Gate' appears to be where two parallel walls were discovered and in the yard behind a human skeleton was dug up in about 1750. No traces of the west wall were visible in 1889 but Whitaker records an oak beam, said to be part of the castle floor, being found in the gutter about 1775. Whitley traced the north wall for almost its whole length, being about 5ft. wide and similar in construction to the south wall. Between the north wall and the road, in a long narrow garden, were found about 1789 the foundations of walls forming a suite of rooms on one side of the higher court. This court had walls bonded with lime mortar instead of clay, indicating a later date. Building stones from the castle can be seen in the walls of the village. There are no identifiable remains of a castle at Ruan Lanihorne. (PastScape)

There are now no remains of Lanihorne castle: Leland describes it "as a castelle of an eight towers, then decaying for lak of coverture." Tonkin describes a large tower, which was pulled down in 1718; and says, that within 30 years of the time of his writing, six out of eight towers of the castle had been standing: some cottages have been built on the site. (Lysons, 1814)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1335 Jan 31 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


Seems to have been a large house, although the use, in parts, of clay bonding instead of mortar suggests perhaps not as strong as the description of eight towers might imply.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:04

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact