UNLIMITED ACCESS TO OVER 400 HISTORIC PLACES
Live and breathe the story of England at royal castles, historic gardens, forts & defences, world-famous prehistoric sites and many others.
Pendennis Castle is currently closed but we hope to reopen on 3 December for pre-booked visits. From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December we will be keeping a selection of our sites open for local visitors and Members. These sites all have large outdoor spaces, and they can be opened in a way that protects the health of all our visitors, staff and volunteers. We have additional safety measures in place at all of our sites including social distancing, enhanced cleaning and limits on visitor numbers. You will need to book in advance in order to visit, and we ask everyone to please bear in mind the government’s latest advice on essential journeys before you plan your visit. To find out which sites are open, how to book tickets and what to expect when you visit click on the links below. If you have a booking for while we are closed you will be automatically refunded within 10 working days.
The castle keep will be open with a one-way system in place. Entrance will be limited to small groups guided by a member of staff.
We've made some changes to help keep you safe, and things might be a little different when you visit. Here's everything you need to know.
In this picturesque coastal Tudor castle, hold your event with against the backdrop of views across a shimmering bay with distant ships passing on the horizon.
Inside the 450-year-old keep, the granite walls and warm wooden flooring provide a charismatic setting while outside the circular chemise is perfect for a drinks reception.
The Edwardian Royal Artillery Barrack have been converted into a smart self-contained hospitality suite with three bright event spaces perfect for all events.
Henry VIII establishes gun forts on both shores of the Fal estuary, at Pendennis and St Mawes.
Find out more about the history of Pendennis Castle
Faced with the threat of a Spanish invasion, the fort is fully garrisoned by up to 100 men.
Engineer Paul Ive encloses Henry VIII's castle within a pentagonal fortress to defend the entire headland. It has a high rampart, ditch and bastions with heavy guns.
After catastrophic English involvement in the Thirty Years War, engineer Sir Bernard Johnson builds a new bastioned rampart and ditch, strengthening the castle's northern defences.
Pendennis serves as a Royalist garrison for Charles I. About 1,000 men endure a three-month siege, surrendering only when food runs out.
A small garrison is maintained, with new gateway and guard barracks. An engineer later reports Pendennis is 'neglected' and 'in a very ruinous condition'.
Engineer Colonel Christian Lilly recommends repairs. The old rampart is reformed and new guns are installed. New buildings include a storehouse, powder magazine and gunners' barracks.
During the American and Napoleonic wars, the local Miners' Militia garrisons Pendennis. New additions include the Half-Moon Battery and five raised gun batteries.
Peacetime results in decades of neglect. When England and France once again become rivals, powerful guns are installed at Half-Moon Battery and Crab Quay.
Falmouth becomes a Defended Port. A submarine minefield is laid across the Fal estuary. Breech-loading guns, range-finders, searchlights for night fighting, telephones and electricity are introduced.
The 105th Regiment Royal Garrison Artillery takes over at Pendennis. A war signal station is installed on the original castle roof to control shipping movements.
Pendennis is the coast artillery defence command centre for West Cornwall during the First World War. Thousands of troops are trained here before going to war in France and Belgium.
Pendennis defends against torpedo boats and launches long-range, radar-controlled attacks against enemy ships.
The Coast Artillery Branch of the Army uses Pendennis for training until it is disbanded.
The Ministry of Works takes over care for Pendennis and opens it to the public.
Learn more about Pendennis Castle