Poltruvanel Castle, Cornwall

An ancient hill fort of the Celts in pre-Roman days that was reconstituted in the so-called dark ages around the time of King Arthur. It was supposedly the site of the Virgin Castle of the Galahad legends, where he had a bit of trouble maintaining his holiness while searching for the Holy Grail and trying to keep his virtue. Ralph of St. Malo was given this castle by William the Conqueror in 1083 and built a motte-and-bailey on the site. It never became an important fortress in a military sense, although it was the center of a large manorial estate and was noted for its fine ashlar walls and kitchen accommodations in the Tudor period. Oliver Cromwell's troops sacked and burned it, and it never recovered from that, most of its stone having been stolen over the centuries since then to repair barns, etc. There is nothing left to see now except the earthwork embankments and the lines of the old curtains walls, at most chest-high, which now enclose farmyards. (One side of the farmhouse includes a truncated portion of the gatehouse tower, and the remains of the Celtic rath are used as a sheep pound. What is left of the kitchen range is now a popular pub, called "The Wholly Virgin," which is noted for its shepherd's pies and hard cider, brewed locally in the old castle stables.)
Ground Plan

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