Exploring Cornwall – Carn Brea Castle and Monument

Today the lovely Mark Sellwood takes me up to Carn Brea to look at the castle and the monument.

Carn Brea Castle stands near the top of the hill. It is built on the site of a chapel built in 1379 probably dedicated to St Michael. It was built in the 18th century by the Basset family as a hunting lodge. It is considered to be a folly built on the huge uncut boulders that make up part of its foundations, giving the impression of the building melting into the land.

At the highest point of the hill is a 90-feet high Celtic cross erected as a monument to Francis Basset, 1st Baron de Dunstanville and Basset (1757–1835). Basset, a mine owner, gained his titles for erecting earthworks to defend Plymouth from combined French and Spanish fleets in 1779, and suppressing a miners’ “food riot” in 1785. Along with others, he petitioned the House of Lords against slavery in 1828.


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