Medieval playing place known as Plain an Gwary, St Just


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1006718.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jul-2021 at 18:12:27.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Just
National Grid Reference:
SW 37018 31421

Reasons for Designation

The medieval playing place known as Plain an Gwary, St Just is one of the two best known in Cornwall. It is an early form of outdoor theatre and is thought to have been a place where mystery plays and various social, religious and political events were held through time. Despite undergoing extensive restoration during the 19th century it remains an important, rare and unusual monument linking communication, political, religious, economic and social events from the medieval period onwards.


The monument includes a medieval playing place known as 'Plain an Gwary' situated near the centre of St Just. The playing place survives as a level circular central area measuring approximately 38m in diameter defined by a bank measuring up to 2m high faced with stone on the outer side with two original walled entrances. The outer ditch survives as a buried feature. A small recess measuring 1m square on the western retaining wall apparently marks the position of a small corbelled chamber which was located during an archaeological excavation in 1956. Within the chamber was a range of modern household debris and pottery. The medieval playing place was restored in the mid 19th century. Within the interior are six large granite blocks with drill holes made by miners. There are numerous spellings for the name including: Plain an Gwarry; Plen an gw ary; Plain-an-Gwarry; Plan an Guare; and Plen an Gwary. Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-421566


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CO 26
Legacy System:


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].