Falmouth, Cornwall, England
Set on headland 1 mile from Falmouth on the south west coast of England, Pendennis Castle’s location ensures wonderful views over the Fal estuary out towards Falmouth itself.
The stout well restored castle, built over two floors, consists of a round tower enclosed by a curtain wall with access via a small bridge and attached gatehouse.
The castle was awarded a silver award in the category of small visitor attraction in the Cornwall Tourism Awards in 2009 and even though it is small there are lots of things to see and do on a visit here with interactive displays, exhibitions and guided tours.
The castle’s keep and artillery barracks house an interactive exhibition and introduction to the castle from Tudor times with the gun deck right up to the Second World War. There are also the guardhouse cells and the WWII observation post with its re-creation of an enemy attack, garrison barracks with its family friendly displays and the rock tunnels which lead to the ‘Half Moon Gun Battery’ and where the Noon Day Gun is fired in July and August.
For a visit to the Half Moon Magazine, the storeroom which housed the shells and cartridges for the guns visitors need to take a guided tour; reservations required one month in advance. The tour includes audio re-enactment and entry into a very dark tunnel with an uneven tunnel floor, so is not suitable for children or those with limited mobility.
The castle is open daily from 10am year round.
As well as a tourist attraction the castle is also used as a wedding and reception venue for up to 160 guests; 100 for the ceremony itself. Ceremonies take place inside the keep where the wall are decorated with tapestries and candlelight adds to the atmosphere and afterwards guests stroll across the grounds to the barracks to enjoy dinner and dancing.
The castle was built by Henry VIII in 1540 as one in a chain of castles along the coast to protect against the French and Spanish invasions.
The castle was adapted many times firstly when a defensive rampart was added in 1598 and further strengthened prior the Civil War. The castle was under siege for five months and was one of the last Royalist garrisons to surrender.
The final battles at the castle were during both the First and Second World Wars and now the castle is under the care of English Heritage.
Other Castles in the Area
St Mawes Castle, Cornwall