Farmer’s Field near Castle Hornbeck, Penzance, Cornwall, England
Map Ref: SW454304 Landranger Map Number: 203; Latitude: 50.118951N Longitude: 5.56298W
From the distance this appears as a round of trees in the middle of a field on the top of a hill roughly a mile west of the town of Penzance. Once entering this ’round’ one can find a stone and earthen-mounded defensive wall/boundary nestled around where the trees were planted creating a unique defensive position. The term “Lesingey Round” means “hedged stronghold”. It is 1.5 acre circular enclosure formed by a broad and high annular mound of earth. Natural slopes within the round are not very steep. Good views of the countryside and surrounding area can be spied from the round. A field wall has been erected around the outer perimeter of the ditch and the whole of the area enclosed is densely wooded. There is historical debate that this is the actual historic “Castle Horneck” which is the current label of a Georgian styled Manor a couple of fields away utilized as a Hostelling International Youth Hostel. Another name for this round is “Timber Castle” or “Lesigney Round”. These are the earthwork remains of an Iron Age hillfort that was probably re-occupied during the medieval period. The rampart stands 12-15 feet high from the bottom of the circular ditch that forms the round. Some scholars believe this to be the site of the C12 castle report and place name now utilized by Castle Horneck approximately 400 meters west of the site. These timber castles are quite common along the Cornish countryside. They are of the motte and bailey or ringwork forms where that formulated the vast majority of castles in the early conquest period and during the Marches of the 11th-12th century as well as placed in the Anarchy during the reign of Stephen. During medieval times, these were short-lived even though some of the castles survived for centuries with timber buildings and defenses being replaced occasionally via timber or masonry. The site is yet unprotected as of this writing but is scheduled for protection by law in the near future.
- Links of Interest:
Path to Lesigney Round:
Inside the Round: