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 Castles of England - Restormel Castle

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Lostwithiel, Cornwall, England

Restormel Castle is built on a spur; or lateral ridge projecting from the hillside, overlooking the River Fowey, one mile from the medieval town of Lostwithel

The castle is a huge circular shell keep with walls 8 feet thick and 25 feet tall, surrounded by a deep ditch. Adjoining the walls are the remains of buildings including living quarters, a great hall and kitchens which are in a good state of repair.

The castle is open to visitors daily between 10am and 5pm, April and September, until 6pm in July and August and until 4pm in October and November. Entry to the castle sit is through an area used to graze stock so appropriate footwear is advised.

Visitors to the site can climb the cobbled battlements which are reached by a wooden staircase as well a visit the Restormel Castle shop or buy refreshments from a snack kiosk. If you bring a picnic there are some spots with breathtaking views in which to enjoy a leisurely summer's afternoon.

The original motte and bailey castle was built in 1100 and owned by the Cardinham family; it was considered one of the finest military castles in England.

The wooden elements of the castle were replaced by stone in the 13th century and in 1264 Richard of Cornwall; Henry III's brother; and afterwards his son Edmund, held the castle until 1300.

In 1337 the keep was restored and made into a luxury residence and castle was given to the 1st Duke of Cornwall to became part of the Duchy of Cornwall's Estate, an thereafter property the Prince of Wales.

Although a fine example of a military castle it saw very little fighting, it was only during the civil war that it saw action when the parliamentarian forces were driven out.

Although part of the Duchy's estate, the castle fell into ruins and by the 18th century was covered in ivy and hidden by woodland. It was not until 1925 when English Heritage took over the running of the site that the castle was uncovered once more.

Other Castles in the Area
  Launceston Castle, Cornwall
  Tintagel Castle, Cornwall

Tintagel Castle
Restormel Castle

Photograph by John M. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Tintagel Castle
Restormel Castle - the shell-keep viewed from the south.

Photograph by Mike Searle. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Tintagel Castle
View into the keep, Restormel Castle.

Photograph by David Robinson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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