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Medieval playing place known as Plain an Gwary, St Just

A Scheduled Monument in St. Just, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.1245 / 50°7'28"N

Longitude: -5.6807 / 5°40'50"W

OS Eastings: 137018.392696

OS Northings: 31421.300587

OS Grid: SW370314

Mapcode National: GBR DXCC.0RF

Mapcode Global: VH05F.H46D

Entry Name: Medieval playing place known as Plain an Gwary, St Just

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1923

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006718

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 26

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Just

Built-Up Area: St Just

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Just-in-Penwith

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a medieval playing place known as 'Plain an Gwary' situated near the centre of St Just. The playing place survives as a level circular central area measuring approximately 38m in diameter defined by a bank measuring up to 2m high faced with stone on the outer side with two original walled entrances. The outer ditch survives as a buried feature. A small recess measuring 1m square on the western retaining wall apparently marks the position of a small corbelled chamber which was located during an archaeological excavation in 1956. Within the chamber was a range of modern household debris and pottery. The medieval playing place was restored in the mid 19th century. Within the interior are six large granite blocks with drill holes made by miners. There are numerous spellings for the name including: Plain an Gwarry; Plen an gw ary; Plain-an-Gwarry; Plan an Guare; and Plen an Gwary.
Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-421566

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The medieval playing place known as Plain an Gwary, St Just is one of the two best known in Cornwall. It is an early form of outdoor theatre and is thought to have been a place where mystery plays and various social, religious and political events were held through time. Despite undergoing extensive restoration during the 19th century it remains an important, rare and unusual monument linking communication, political, religious, economic and social events from the medieval period onwards.

Source: Historic England

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