Liskeard
The Guildhall, Market Street, Liskeard - geograph.org.uk - 666030.jpg

Liskeard Guildhall (2001)
Liskeard is located in Cornwall
Liskeard
Liskeard
Location within Cornwall
Population9.417 (2011)
OS grid referenceSX251645
Civil parish
  • Liskeard
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLISKEARD
Postcode districtPL14
Dialling code01579
PoliceDevon and Cornwall
FireCornwall
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Cornwall
50°27′13″N 4°27′54″W / 50.4536°N 4.4651°W / 50.4536; -4.4651Coordinates: 50°27′13″N 4°27′54″W / 50.4536°N 4.4651°W / 50.4536; -4.4651

Liskeard (/lɪˈskɑːrd/ (listen) lih-SKARD; Cornish: Lyskerrys[1]) is a small ancient stannary and market town in south-east Cornwall, South West England. It is situated approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Plymouth, 14 miles (23 km) west of the Devon border, and 12 miles (20 km) east of Bodmin. The Bodmin Moor lies to the north-west of the town. The total population of the town at the 2011 census was 11,366[2][3][4]

History

Castle Park, where Liskeard Castle once stood
Castle Park, where Liskeard Castle once stood

The Cornish place name element Lis, along with ancient privileges accorded the town, indicates that the settlement was once a high status 'court'. King Dungarth whose cross is a few miles north near St Cleer is thought to be a descendant of the early 8th century king Gerren of Dumnonia and is said to have held his court in Liskeard (Lis-Cerruyt).[5] Liskeard (Liscarret) was at the time of the Domesday Survey an important manor with a mill rendering 12d. yearly and a market rendering 4s. William the Conqueror gave it to Robert, Count of Mortain by whom it was held in demesne. Ever since that time it has passed with the earldom or Duchy of Cornwall.[6] A Norman castle was built there after the Conquest, which eventually fell into disuse in the later Middle Ages. By 1538 when visited by John Leland only a few insignificant remains were to be seen.[7] Sir Richard Carew writing in 1602 concurred;

Of later times, the Castle serued the Earle of Cornwall for one of his houses; but now, that later is worm-eaten out of date and vse. Coynages, Fayres, and markets, (as vitall spirits in a decayed bodie) keepe the inner partes of the towne aliue, while the ruyned skirtes accuse the iniurie of time, and the neglect of industrie.[8]

Historically, Liskeard belonged to the ancient hundred of West Wivelshire[9]

Liskeard was one of the 17 Antiqua maneria of the Duchy of Cornwall.[10] The market charter was granted by Richard, Earl of Cornwall (brother of Henry III) in 1240. Since then, it has been an important centre for agriculture. The seal of the borough of Liskeard was Ar. a fleur-de-lis and perched thereon and respecting each other two birds in chief two annulets and in flank two feathers.[11]

When Wilkie Collins wrote of his visit to the town in his Rambles Beyond Railways he had a low opinion of it: "that abomination of desolation, a large agricultural country town".[12] The town went through a period of economic prosperity during the pre-20th century boom in tin mining, becoming a key centre in the industry as a location for a stannary and coinage.

The A38 trunk road used to pass through the town centre but a dual carriageway bypass now carries traffic south of the town, leaving the town centre accessible but with low traffic levels.

Present day

The Fountain Hotel
The Fountain Hotel
Liskeard and District in the 1920s
Liskeard and District in the 1920s

Liskeard was one of the last towns in Cornwall to have a regular livestock market, ending in 2017. There is a range of restaurants, cafés and pubs in the town, and some shops retain their Victorian shopfronts and interiors.

Liskeard puts on a pantomime in the last week of January and holds a carnival every June. Every July, Liskeard holds a large agricultural show, The Liskeard Show, which is always held on the second Saturday in July.[13] St Matthew's Fair was originally established by charter in 1266, the fair was re-established in 1976 which runs in September/October.[14] Every December, there is street entertainment and a lantern parade for 'Liskeard Lights Up', when the Christmas lights are switched on.

Notable buildings

Stuart House
Stuart House

The town boasts St. Martin's, the second largest parish church in Cornwall [15] Built on the site of the former Norman church, the oldest parts of the current structure date back to the 15th century. Other places of worship include a Roman Catholic church and Methodist chapels.[16]

Politics

Local politics

Liskeard is a civil parish, with some services provided by the unitary authority of Cornwall Council. There are 3 electoral wards for Cornwall Council in Liskeard, including Dobwalls. Liskeard was the admin HQ of the former Caradon District Council.

UK Parliament

For further details of the parliamentary history of the town, see Liskeard (UK Parliament constituency).

In the year 1294, Liskeard began to send two members to Parliament, but this was reduced to one by the 1832 Reform Act. The Members of Parliament (MPs) have included Edward Gibbon, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and Isaac Foot.[21]

Liskeard is now part of the South East Cornwall constituency, currently represented by a Conservative Member of Parliament, Sheryll Murray in the House of Commons.

Education

The first school in Liskeard was founded in 1550 on Castle Hill. For a time it was maintained by the Earls of St Germans, but it closed around 1834 due to a decline in numbers and financial difficulties. From 1835 a series of private schools existed in the borough, until 1908 when Cornwall Education Committee built the County School at Old Road. From 1945 it was known as Liskeard Grammar School until September 1978 when it became the Lower School site of Liskeard School, following amalgamation with the town's secondary modern school.[22]

Liskeard County Secondary School received its first pupils on Monday 12 September 1960, and was formally opened by the Minister of Education, Sir David Eccles on 7 July the following year.[23] Costing £100,000, it was built to accommodate around 500 pupils on the site of the current school at Luxtowe. Its glass and steel structure made "free use of fresh air and sunlight" according to local newspaper reports, whilst other modern features included a well-equipped gymnasium, automated central heating and synchronised clocks across the school, operated from the secretary's office.[24] A new block was opened by the Right Honourable Margaret Thatcher, Secretary of State for Education and Science in 1974, following the raising of the school leaving age from 15 years to 16, two years earlier.[25] Like many similar secondary schools in Cornwall, from the late 1970s it housed the Upper School (3rd Year / Year 9 upwards), when it merged with the town's grammar school to create a split-site comprehensive school.[26]

Twenty years later, with increased pupil numbers requiring many to be taught in temporary buildings, the need for improvements to Liskeard's secondary and primary schools was being raised in Parliament.[27] By the late 1990s, Liskeard School and Community College had been extended at Luxstowe, and the Old Road site closed and redeveloped for housing. Further multimillion-pound science and technology facilities were added in 2002, and the original 1960s and 1970s buildings were completely modernised by 2011. As Cornwall's only school with an engineering speciality,[28] it now caters for approximately 1300 students aged between 11 and 19, and employs around 200 teaching and non-teaching, full- and part-time staff. It also has a creche, a teenage advice and information service, a centre for children with autism, and facilities at Moorswater where some engineering-based courses are taught.[29]

There are two primary schools in Liskeard: St Martin's Church of England (Voluntary Aided) School in Lake Lane and Hillfort Primary School on Old Road. The latter was opened in September 2006 following the renaming of Liskeard Junior School after its merger with Liskeard Infant School.[30]

Caradon Short Stay School (previously known as a Pupil Referral Unit) is located in West Street, on the site of the former Liskeard Infant School. It provides education for students aged 11–16 from across south east Cornwall who are unable to attend a mainstream school or special school. The nearest independent schools are in Plymouth and Tavistock, Devon.

Transport

Liskeard railway station, on the London Paddington to Penzance Cornish Main Line, and the A38 trunk road provide the town with rapid access to Plymouth, the rest of Cornwall and the motorway network. The town is also served by the Looe Valley branch line to Looe. There are regular bus services to various parts of Cornwall.

Leisure and sports

There is a leisure centre at Lux Park on the north side of the town: there is a bowling club on the southern side. The town has a Non-League football club Liskeard Athletic F.C. who play at Lux park. The town also has a rugby and cricket club who are both well-supported. The town has a King George V Playing Field. Live music and various theatrical events frequently take place in the unusual but acoustically good Carnglaze Caverns just to the north.

Leisure trails

There are three trails, each has its own blue commemorative plaque (these were unveiled by former town mayor, Sandra Preston).

Media

Liskeard has its own community radio station Liskeard Radio. Broadcasting online and at 87.7FM and operating on a temporary annual licence. Broadcasts are between 7am and midnight for 28 days in December each year.[31] Its local newspaper is the Cornish Times.

Freemasonry

Liskeard has a sizeable Masonic presence with no fewer than eight Masonic bodies meeting at the Masonic Hall on The Parade,[32]

In addition to the UGLE lodges + Masonic orders, there is also a women's lodge that meets in the Masonic Hall.

Twinning

In 1974 Liskeard was twinned with Quimperlé (Kemperle) in Brittany, France.[33]

Notable people

See also: People from Liskeard

Climate

Like all of the United Kingdom, Liskeard has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb).

Climate data for Liskeard
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
(46)
8
(46)
9
(48)
12
(54)
14
(57)
17
(63)
19
(66)
19
(66)
17
(63)
14
(57)
11
(52)
9
(48)
13
(55)
Average low °C (°F) 3
(37)
3
(37)
4
(39)
5
(41)
8
(46)
11
(52)
13
(55)
13
(55)
11
(52)
9
(48)
6
(43)
4
(39)
8
(46)
Source: Weather Channel[35]

See also

References

  1. ^ "List of Place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel" (PDF). Cornish Language Partnership. May 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Liskeard North Ward". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Liskeard Central Ward". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Liskeard South & Dobwalls Ward". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  5. ^ "The Doniert Stone, accompanying cross shaft and underground chamber 650m SW of Common Moor, St. Cleer - 1010873 | Historic England".
  6. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Liskeard". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 774.
  7. ^ Oman, Sir Charles (1926) Castles; "Cornwall and its castles", p. 109. London: Great Western Railway
  8. ^ "Archived copy". www.gutenberg.org. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Office for National statistics : Census 2011 : Parish Headcounts : Caradon Archived 23 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 24 March 2013
  10. ^ Hatcher, John (1970) Rural Economy and Society in the Duchy of Cornwall 1300–1500. Cambridge University Press ISBN 0-521-08550-0
  11. ^ Pascoe, W. H. (1979). A Cornish Armory. Padstow, Cornwall: Lodenek Press. p. 133. ISBN 0-902899-76-7.
  12. ^ Book Time; no. 58 (May 2011), p. 4
  13. ^ The Liskeard Show
  14. ^ "Fair keeps ancient tradition running". This is Cornwall. 6 October 2010. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013.
  15. ^ Pevsner, N. (1951). The Buildings of England: Cornwall. Harmondsworth: Penguin, p. 103
  16. ^ "Liskeard Churches". Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  17. ^ Fisk, Audrey (1997) The Ancient Order of Foresters in Cornwall Southampton: Foresters Heritage Trust
  18. ^ Liskeard & District Museum Archived 17 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Historic England. "Guildhall (1206610)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  20. ^ Pencubitt House Archived 3 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine History
  21. ^ Deacon, Bernard W. (1989). Liskeard and Its People. ISBN 0-9515355-0-1.
  22. ^ Cornwall Record Office Online catalogue
  23. ^ Commemorative plaque within the school: in foyer by "Old Hall"
  24. ^ "Liskeard and District Museum Press Release Exhibition – 50th Anniversary of the Opening of Liskeard County Secondary School" Archived 1 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Commemorative plaque within the school: entrance to Sixth Form Centre
  26. ^ Liskeard Town Council, as [15]
  27. ^ Liskeard School and Community College; Hansard
  28. ^ Liskeard School and Community College
  29. ^ Liskeard School and Community College Prospectus
  30. ^ Liskeard; All the Schools
  31. ^ "liskeardradio". liskeardradio. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  32. ^ Province of Cornwall (2016)Cornwall Masonic Year Book 2015/16
  33. ^ "Liskeard Town Leaflet". Liskeard Town Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  34. ^ Harding Family. A Short History and Narrative Pedigree From 1480 to the present day; by Nicholas John Royal. Published privately 1970
  35. ^ Liskeard travel information Weather Channel UK Retrieved 4 April 2009