- Great Britains Heritage Guide


Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Castle Summary

  • Address: Falmouth, TR11 4LP (Map)
  • Tel: +44 (0)1326 316594
  • Fax: +44 (0)1326 319911
  • Owner: English Heritage
  • Administrator: Visitor Operations Team
  • E-mail: Click here to contact

Pendennis Castle Description

Pendennis Castle and its neighbour St Mawes Castle face each other across the mouth of the River Fal. They are the Cornish end of a chain of castles built by Henry VIII along the south coast as protection against the threat of attack from France.

Few have seen active service but Pendennis was adapted over 400 years to meet new enemies, from the French and Spanish in the 16th century, through to World War II. The land on which the castle stands was originally owned by the Killigrew family, governors of Pendennis for many years. The lodgings fronting the keep were built around 1550 to provide them with more comfortable accommodation. In the later years of Elizabeth I's reign, a new type of defensive wall with bastions was added around the original fort. Strengthened again prior to the Civil War, Pendennis was host to the future Charles II in 1646, who sailed from there to the Isles of Scilly. It withstood five months of siege before becoming the penultimate Royalist garrison to surrender on the mainland.

Pendennis was re-armed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, seeing action in World War II. 'The Noon Day Gun' everyday at noon in July and August, one of the castle's guns will fire to mark mid-day. The excellent site facilities include the Discovery Centre and the Guardhouse, which has been returned to its World War I appearance. Visit the secret defences, including the World War II Half Moon Battery, 16th century keep - complete with Tudor gun deck and the Underground magazines and tunnels.

Opening Times - 2012

  • 1st - 31st March: Saturday - Sunday, 10 am - 4 pm
  • 1st April - 30th June: Sunday - Friday, 10 am - 5 pm, Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm
  • 1st July - 31st August: Sunday - Friday, 10 am - 6 pm, Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm
  • 1st - 30th September: Sunday - Friday, 10 am - 5 pm, Saturday, 10 am - 4
  • 1st October - 4th November: daily, 10 am - 4 pm
  • 5th November - 17th February: Saturday - Sunday, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Open Bank Holidays
  • Closed: 24th - 26th December & 31st December - 1st January

Admission Prices - 2012

  • Adult - £6.50
  • Child (5-16) - £3.90
  • Concessions - £5.90
  • Family - £16.90
  • Groups (11+) - 15% discount

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Additional Info for Pendennis Castle

  • YesOpen All Year
  • YesGroups
  • YesDogs allowed
  • YesWeddings
  • YesDisabled Access
  • YesEducation
  • YesRefreshments
  • YesPicnics
  • YesGuides
  • YesMeals Available
  • YesGifts
  • YesLive Entertainment
  • YesShop
  • YesCar Parking

Heritage Groups

  • YesEnglish Heritage

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