Plymouth Castle (remains of)
List Entry Summary
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Name: Plymouth Castle (remains of)
List entry Number: 1003833
The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: City of Plymouth
District Type: Unitary Authority
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first scheduled: 19-Feb-1948
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
Legacy System Information
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
UID: PY 217
This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.
List entry Description
Summary of Monument
A tower and two lengths of walling forming part of Plymouth Castle.
Reasons for Designation
The remaining tower and lengths of walling which form part of Plymouth Castle are not sufficient to determine exactly what type of castle they represent. It seems likely, however, that the construction was a erected as a part of a strategy to defend against attack from water-borne raiders or invading forces, rather than as an important residence for a member of the aristocracy or social elite. Neither does this appear to have been a royal castle constructed by or on behalf of the Crown. It is known from documentary evidence to have been in existence for a considerable time and doubtless saw some use as a defensive structure during its existence. It was largely dismantled to provide material for the Citadel, which suggests it had become surplus to requirement by this time. The tower and walls will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, development, date, abandonment, demolition and overall landscape context. In addition it has potential to answer wider questions about the evolution of Plymouth’s defences.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 13 October 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a tower and two lengths of walling which formed part of Plymouth Castle situated in Lambhay Street close to the Barbican in Plymouth. The tower survives as an upstanding semicircular tower which is up to 3m high built on bedrock with short adjoining lengths of very thick curtain walling to the east and west. The tower is believed to be the right hand flanking turret of the western gatehouse, or an internal tower within the castle. Henry IV allowed under patent the construction of a wall with towers and other defences to be built by the inhabitants of Plymouth and work commenced in around 1339. In 1416 two towers were added and in 1519 the defences were further strengthened. In 1540 Leland described it as ‘a castle quadrate, having at each corner a great round tower’. Further restoration work was carried out in 1509. It is depicted on a 1539 panorama and in de Gomme’s plan of 1665 as a square structure with a tower at each corner. The castle was largely demolished in 1665 to provide material for the Citadel.
The tower and walls are Listed Grade II.
PastScape Monument No:-437578
National Grid Reference: SX 48289 53959
The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1003833 .pdf
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Apr-2018 at 12:57:05.
End of official listing