The castle has seen action in many conflicts and was one of the last royalist strongholds to fall during the English Civil War.
Throughout the year, a packed events programme provides great family fun including Fighting Knights, Grand Medieval Jousts and Pirates Attack! Visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/pendennis-castle/events for details.
You can witness a Tudor gun deck in action here and see how the Guardhouse was equipped during the First World War. This award-winning visitor attraction in the south west also boasts an exciting interactive exhibition where you can experience the sights and sounds of battle and relive an enemy attack on a Second World War observation post.
The History of Pendennis Castle
Originally constructed between 1540 and 1545, Pendennis and its sister, St Mawes Castle, (also an English Heritage property), form the Cornish end of the chain of coastal artillery fortresses built by Henry VIII to counter a threat from France and Spain. In 1598, during Elizabeth I's reign, a new and much larger type of defensive rampart was added around the original fort. The castle was strengthened again prior to the Civil War and played host to the future Charles II in 1646, before he sailed to the Isles of Scilly. It then withstood five months of siege, before becoming the penultimate Royalist garrison on the British mainland to surrender.
Pendennis continued to play a vital role in Cornwall's defences throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and saw significant action during the Second World War. Evidence of its fascinating history is on show throughout the site, for example in the Guardhouse which has been returned to its First World War appearance.
Pendennis Castle is now also the home of a collection of wartime cartoons by George Butterworth. The acclaimed cartoons, which appeared daily throughout the Second World War, lampooned both Hitler and Mussolini, enraging the Nazi leader so much that the cartoonist was put on his 'hit-list'. The cartoons were generously given to English Heritage by George Butterworth's widow, a neighbour of the castle.
- The recreated Tudor gun room
- Getting hands-on in our Discovery Centre
- Our exciting interactive exhibitions
- Seeing the Butterworth wartime cartoons on display
- A visit to the tearoom
- The views and the setting - water surrounding the castle on three sides
Dogs on leads welcome
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