Pendennis Castle

The Tudor Keep | Castle built by Henry VIII Explore the recreated Tudor gun room Great days out Ready to fire! | Plan your visit

For a great value day out in Cornwall, take a trip to Pendennis Castle, Falmouth. This is one of the finest of the mighty fortresses built by Henry VIII to defend the country against invasion. The castle has seen action in many conflicts and was one of the last royalist strongholds to fall during the English Civil War. Visitors can transport themselves back to Tudor times and right through the First and Second World Wars in a packed day out.

From 1 April 2014, the noon day gun will be fired each day using one of four working guns out of the 37 in total on display at the castle. The guns being used are a World War Two 25 pounder, an American built 1943 Howitzer and an 18th century 18 pounder Blomefield. A rare First World War three inch anti-aircraft gun of twenty hundred weight will also be used to mark significant dates in the centenary year. The team at Pendennis Castle have been specially trained to fire the guns and will give an introductory talk before firing each day throughout the summer.

Visitors can see a Tudor gun deck in action in the castle keep and experience the sights and sounds of battle. Then explore the Governor's bedroom with its very own latrine and take the steps up to the roof of the keep for a fantastic 360 degree view of the estuary, St Mawes Castle, Falmouth town and out to sea. You might even spot one of the many cruise ships, which come to the harbour or spot a traditional sailing boat as it bobs around the headland.

In the restored Royal Garrison Artillery Barracks, discover the fascinating history of the castle through an interactive exhibition and see what life as a garrison soldier was really like. There is even a First World War Guardhouse and cells still in the style of the period so that you can get a real sense of where soldiers would have been imprisoned.

Children will love the descent through the castle tunnels to the big guns and magazine at Half Moon Battery or for the full experience, take one of the regular guided tours with the friendly and knowledgeable staff. You might even experience a war time raid! Castle tour also available.

The castle 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. You can also see the fascinating collection of wartime cartoons by George Butterworth, which appeared in newspapers throughout the Second World War.

Once you have explored the many displays and exhibits, take some time to enjoy the extensive grounds and the spectacular sea views. Or you can relax in the tearoom or outside in the courtyard and enjoy one of the famous homity pies, made to a genuine Second World War recipe, or a traditional cream tea.

Pendennis Castle can also be hired for conferences, events and meetings as well as providing a unique setting for a wedding or civil ceremony. Make more of your visit with a stay in one of the stylish self catering cottages where you can be king and queen of the castle when all the visitors have gone home.

Don't Miss

  • Delicious home-made cakes, sandwiches and light lunches, plus fresh coffees and drinks
  • The Tudor gun room with its re-created battle scene
  • The hands-on Discovery Centre - ideal for families
  • Interactive exhibitions to help you discover the history of the people who lived at the castle
  • The Butterworth wartime cartoons on display



Events At Pendennis Castle

  • Fighting Knights

    Wed 28 - Thur 29 May 2014

    Hear weapons clash and feel the heat of battle as we journey back to days of old. Watch brave knights do battle and prove your worth as a warrior as you don your armour and try out your combat skills.

Prices and opening times


Castle Close, Falmouth, Cornwall - TR11 4LP (Directions)


For just £39 a year, English Heritage members get free entry to our properties and exclusive discounts.


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Suitable for weddings and corporate functions

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