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Castle Horneck, Penzance
Castle Horneck (Penzance Youth Hostel) Geograph-3173033-by-Edmund-Gooch.jpg
General information
Architectural style Georgian
Location Penzance
Coordinates 50°07′05″N 5°33′29″W / 50.117926°N 5.557929°W / 50.117926; -5.557929
Construction started 12th-century
Client John Tyre
Owner Youth Hostels Association (England & Wales)
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Listed Building – Grade II
Official name: Castle Horneck
Designated 7 February 1974
Reference no. 1143172

Castle Horneck is a Grade II* listed building, and refurbished Georgian mansion to the west of the Cornish town of Penzance. It is currently owned by the Youth Hostels Association (YHA) and has been used as a youth hostel since 1950.


Castle Horneck derives from Castelhornek in a 1335 manuscript and Kestel Hornek from a 1395 manuscript.


Also referred to as Castle Hornocke (Early Modern English) and Iron Castle; it may be the site of a castle, which may have existed, near Penzance. Castle Horneck is said to have been built by the Tyes family in the 12th century, and in the 13th and 14th centuries the Tyes were the Lords of the Manor of Alverton. The first mention of Penzance is in 1284 and the Manor of Alverton was influential in the history and development of the town. In the early 16th-century Thomas Lavelis of Castle Horneck, inherited Trewoofe (near Lamorna) when he married Joanna, the youngest daughter of John de Trewoofe.

Castle Horneck is the ancient home of the Borlase family, and in circa 1720 the front of the house was rebuilt by Dr Walter Borlase. The house was modernised in 1879 with larger windows on the front of the house and annexes built on the east and north. At that time there was extensive grounds with good specimens of giant redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and the largest hollies (Ilex aquifolium) in the neighbourhood. In April 1880 the house was leased to the Reverend Franklyn Tonkin, the vicar of Madron.

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