Carn Brea Castle

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Carn Brea Castle


Carn Brea Castle by Ansom.jpg
South side, photo taken in 2009.
Grid reference: SW685409
Location: 50°13’23"N, 5°14’45"W
Village: Carnkie

Carn Brea Castle stands on the upper slopes of Carn Brea, the hill rising south of Redruth in Cornwall. It is a 14th-century granite stone building which was extensively remodelled in the 18th century as a hunting lodge in the style of a castle for the Basset family.

The building is in private use as a restaurant.[1] It is Grade II listed.[2]


The Castle is a small stone folly decorated in the romantic ideal style of a mediæval/gothic castle. It has an irregular layout with 4 rectangular turrets round a core of the same height and an embattled parapet. The building is built into a large stone outcrop with a steep drop on the rear. The building was designed as a hunting lodge rather than a dwelling and measures 60 feet by 10 feet.[3]


West side of the castle

The Castle was originally built as a chapel, in 1379, thought to be dedicated to St Michael[4] It has been extensively rebuilt in different periods since, primarily in the 18th century by the Basset family as a hunting lodge.[5] It is considered a Folly castle, due to the huge uncut boulders that make up part of its foundations, giving the impression of the building melting into the land.[6]

The castle was apparently used as a beacon for ships; a lease granted in 1898 stipulated that the tenant must show a light in the north facing window.

The castle had periods of disuse and disrepair in the 1950s to 1970s, until private renovation in 1975-1980.[7]

In the 1980s the building was converted into a restaurant.[8]


A 19th-century, an East India trading ship was named after Carn Brea Castle. It was wrecked off the Isle of Wight in 1829 and reported in The Times as being involved in excise tax fraud.[9]

The stolen Ford Anglia featured in the Harry Potter films was found at the Castle in 2006.[10]

Outside links


  1. Chapman, Sarah; Chapman, David (2008), Iconic Cornwall, Alison Hodge Publishers, p. 16, ISBN 978-0-906720-57-8 
  2. National Heritage List 1160284: Carn Brea Castle
  3. Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge Great Britain (1837), The Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Volume 8, C. Knight, p. 40, 
  4. About Carn Brea - Carn Brea Protection Group
  5. Pictures of Carn Brea - Parish of Saint Illogan
  6. "Carn Brea Castle, Follies and Monuments". Archived from the original on 31 December 2007. 
  7. "Carn Brea Castle". The Gatehouse. Archived from the original on 28 October 2010. 
  8. "Carn Brea Castle". Eat Out Cornwall. Archived from the original on 31 December 2007. 
  9. 'Some frauds of a very peculiar and extensive nature have been discovered': The Times, 18 July 1829, page 4
  10. "The Scotsman: Harry Potter's stolen car appears at castle". The Scotsman Publications Ltd. 19 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-30.