Three Shell Keeps in Devon and Cornwall


In 1969 the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works (MPBW) produced a ‘souvenir guide’ of the Three Shell Keeps by D.F. Renn. This covered Launceston and Restormel Castles in Cornwall, and Totnes Castle in Devon.


Totnes Castle was placed in state guardianship in 1947, and a short guide by S.E. Rigold appeared in 1952. This continued as a Department of the Environment ‘paper’ guide (with blue header) (1979), and then as an English Heritage guide (1990).

1998 [2009]
Launceston Castle was placed in state guardianship in 1951. The guide by T.L. Jones appeared in 1959. This was replaced by the English Heritage guidebook by A.M. Saunders in 1985.


Restormel Castle was placed in state guardianship in 1925. The guide was prepared by C.A. Ralegh Radford in 1935. This was contemporary with the guides for Lydford and Tintagel Castles. The Restormel Castle guide was reprinted in 1947, and for the Department of the Environment in 1980. It contains a short history with a section on the periods of construction; this is followed by a description, with a plan on the centre pages.

Author: David Gill

David Gill is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent, and an Academic Associate in SISJAC at UEA; Professor of Archaeological Heritage.

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