St. Mawes Castle

St. Mawes Castle

Opening Times

St Mawes Castle is among the best-preserved of Henry VIII's coastal artillery fortresses, and the most elaborately decorated of them all.

One of the chain of forts built between 1539 and 1545 to counter an invasion threat from Catholic France and Spain, it guarded the important anchorage of Carrick Roads, sharing the task with Pendennis Castle on the other side of the Fal estuary.

A charming clover-leaf shape originally surrounded by octagonal outer defences, St. Mawes was designed to mount heavy 'ship-sinking' guns. But particular care was also taken with its embellishment, and it is still bedecked with carved Latin inscriptions in praise of King's Henry VIII and his son Edward VI. It owes its fine preservation to the fact that unlike Pendennis Castle, it was little developed after its completion.

Easily falling to a landward attack by Civil War Parliamentarian forces in 1646, it remained neglected until partial re-arming during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Other coastal forts built by Henry VIII include Portland, Deal and Walmer Castles.

Don't miss:
    * The 'gunners' at rest in the gun room
    * Taking the audio tour that brings the castle to life
    * Seeing the only Civil War cannonball ever found at St. Mawes

Dogs welcome on leads

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Dog Friendly


  • Facilities
  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Guided Tours available
  • Group Visits available
  • Restaurant/Cafe
  • Shop


  • Disabled parking
  • Disabled toilets
  • Guide dogs permitted
  • Hearing loop system
  • Accessible formats
  • Entrance flat / without steps

Access Statement

Access to castle: Level access for wheelchair users through shop and across drawbridge into main entrance floor. Battlements and bastions not accessible, and spiral staircase to other floors is narrow. Parking: There are steps with handrail down to the entrance and slopes for wheelchairs. Shop: Level access via a shallow step. Grounds: Reached through side door via large, wide steps. All parts including defences are accessible on impacted gravel paths and smooth grass slopes. Excellent viewpoints with benches. Visually Impaired Visitors: Sounds of seabirds; a few scented plants in gardens. Hearing Impaired Visitors: Audio tour with hearing loop included in admission price.

Tickets / Price Guides

Ticket Type Ticket Price Ticket Details
Free Admission £0.00 EH Members
Adult £4.70
Concession £4.20 Concession
Child £2.80 Child
Family £12.20

Opening Times

Open all year

28 March - 30 Sept, Daily 10am - 6pm 1 Oct - 1 Nov, Daily 10am - 5pm 2 Nov - 14 Feb 2015, Sat & Sun 10am - 4pm 15 - 19 Feb 2015, Daily 10am - 4pm 20 Feb - 24 Mar 2015, Sat & Sun 10am - 4pm Closed 24-26, 31 Dec & 1 booked.


Nearest station is Truro. One mile away from railway station to bus station. First Western National service 51 from Truro to St Mawes. Alternatively, Penmere station - 4 miles via Prince of Wales pier and ferry.

Nearest major road is A3078, St Mawes. Signposted.

Nearest major road is A3078, St Mawes. Signposted.


Castle Drive
St. Mawes Cornwall TR2 5DE

What’s nearby

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