Bottreaux Castle

Bottreaux Castle was probably built between 1154 and 1189 and was a stone motte and bailey fortress, built for the Bottreaux family. The motte supported a strong circular shell keep. 3 miles south-west is Bossiney Castle and 17 miles east is Launceston Castle.

Boscastle in fact gets its name the Bottreaux family, who are believed to be Normans who settled here in 1080. "Bottreaux's Castle" eventually shortened to Boscastle. Edward de Bottreaux, had a son Sir William des Bottreaux who built Bottreaux Castle

Bottreaux Castle site was said to have been an abandoned ruin by 1478. And today only a few earthworks on the end of Jordons ridge are all that is left of this fortress. Bottreaux Castle is in a public park in Boscastle, off the B1345.

There are no bells in the tower of Forrabury Church, but it is said that they can be heard ringing beneath the waves where they came to rest. Three bells were ordered by William, Lord of Bottreaux Castle, to ward off the plague in the Middle Ages. The bells never reached the church, as the ship carrying them sunk in the bay just offshore. Lord William was struck by the plague and died. And the ghostly peal of the bells can still be heard when a storms sweeps across the bay

There are few historical references to it, but there is one in Richard Carew, Survey of Cornwall 1769, which appears to show that it was ruined then.

"The first place which heere offreth itselfe to sight, is Bottreaux Castle, seated on a bad harbour of the North sea, & suburbed with a poore market town, yet entitling the owner in times past, with the stile of a Baron, from whom, by match it descended to the L. Hungerford, & [121] resteth in the Earle of Huntingdon. The diuersified roomes of a prison, in the Castle, for both sexes, better preserued by the Inhabitants memorie, then descerneable by their owne endurance, shew the same, heeretofore to haue exercised some large iurisdiction."

Cornwall Castles Map