Liskeard, Cornwall

Historical Description

Liskeard, a market-town, a parish, and a municipal borough in Cornwall. The town stands partly on rocky eminences, partly on a plain at their base, amid an elevated but well-cultivated country, 1 mile E of the terminus of the Liskeard and Looe railway, and 18 miles WNW of Plymouth. It has a station on the G.W.R., at the south end of the town, and is 259 miles by railway from London, and 224 by road, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Area of the municipal borough, 2704 acres; of the civil parish, 5924; population of the municipal borough, 3984; of the civil parish, 1040; of the ecclesiastical, 4966. Liskeard was anciently called Liskerret, probably from two Cornish words, signifying "a fortified place," and it is one of the most ancient towns in Cornwall. The country around it possesses many cromlechs, stone-circles, and other monuments of the aboriginal inhabitants. The manor was given by William the Conqueror to Robert, Earl of Mortaigne, passed to the Earls of Cornwall, and was one of the manors annexed to the Duchy of Cornwall by Act of Parliament in the time of Edward III. A castle or strong fortress, supposed to have been erected by one of the Earls of Cornwall, stood on an eminence still called Castle Hill at the E end of the town, and was described by Leland as in his time all in ruin. A house for lepers called the hospital of St Mary Magdalene at Liskeard figures in record about the year 1400. A battle was. fought in 1643 on Broadoak Down, 5 miles WSW of fbi-town, between Sir Ralph Hopton and the Parliamentarians, when Sir Ralph was victorious, took 1250 prisoners, and established his quarters in Liskeard. Charles I. was here in person during five days of the following year, and again in 1645, and the house which he occupied is still standing. Sir Edward Coke, the famous lawyer, represented the town in Parliament in 1620, Gibbon the historian represented it in 1775, and Dr Jane, a regius professor, was a native.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Cornwall
Ecclesiastical parish Liskeard St. Martin
Hundred West
Poor Law union Liskeard

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Liskeard from the following:


Online maps of Liskeard are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Cornwall papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

We have a copy of The Visitations of Cornwall, by Lieut.-Col. J.L. Vivian online.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtPL14
Post TownLiskeard