Bottreaux Castle

Bottreaux Castle

0.5 mile South of Boscastle

PL35 0AU

Castle now vanished that was once a prison

The traditional site of Bottreaux Castle is situated at the end of a steeply sloping spur and overlooks a deep valley (one of two that lead from Boscastle). The earth and timber ringwork was founded by the Bottreaux family was founded in 1100 AD. The "Castle" presumably stood on the level site now occupied by a cottage and garden. It was probably isolated from the high ground to the south by a ditch across the spur but all trace of this is now effaced by the dwellings and garden in Fore Street. The surviving earthworks to the north are somewhat enigmatic. The steep, natural slopes of the spur have been scarped approximately 30 feet below the top to form a crescentic terrace (or a now silted ditch) up to 18 feet wide. An in-turned entrance cuts into this terrace but its purpose is obscure as there is apparently no access from here to the spur top. The evidence of scarping ends abruptly on the west and east sides of the spur and gives way instead to steep natural slopes.

The manor, honour, and borough of Bottreaux castle, now called Boscastle, and the manor of Worthyvale, were among the ancient possessions of the baronial family of Botterell or Bottreaux, who were settled here as early as the reign of Henry II. William Botterell, and his younger brother Reginald, were both among the rebel barons in arms against King Henry III. With the exception of Reginald, who succeeded his elder brother in the possession of this honour, the ten successive owners were all Williams. William Lord Bottreaux, the last of the family, was killed at the battle of St. Albans, in 1462, leaving an only daughter, married to Sir Robert Hungerford: the principal residence of this ancient family was at the castle called after their name, of which the mount only now remains. In 1478 William Worcester mentions Bottereaux only as a manor house and in 1602 Richard Carew, added that it was used as a prison.

Opening Times

All Year

Admission Free

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