Pendennis Castle

School Visits

Help your class explore the history of Pendennis, from Tudor times to today, with one of our many ways to learn.

"Thank you for a stimulating and brilliant workshop and visit. Will come back again!"

KS1 Teacher
on our Now and Then Discovery Visit

Curriculum links

  • KS1-3 History: Local History Study
  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
  • KS2 History: Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: Development of Church, state and society in Britain 1066-1509 and  1509-1745, ideas, political power, industry and empire in Britain 1745-1901, and challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day
  • GCSE History: Study of the historic environment

Free Self-led Visits

One of the finest of the mighty fortresses built by Henry VIII to defend the country against invasion, Pendennis Castle remains one of Cornwall's greatest fortresses. With over 400 years of defending Britain's coasts, and a range of ways to learn on-site, we've got everything you need to help you cover a wide range of cross-curricular topics.

The Cornwall Heritage Trust offer funding for school transport to eligible schools. Find out more and fill out an application form to see if you can cover the costs of transport on your trip to Pendennis.

Enquire now

Expert-led Discovery Visits

Sandford Award Winner 2023!

Bring Pendennis Castle to life and let us lead an award-winning Discovery Visit for you. Let our site experts bring history to life with an interactive session for up to 30 students.

 

FIND OUT MORE

Plan Your Visit

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and further information on our what to expect page.

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits once you have made a booking, plus a 20% discount on the official English Heritage guidebook for your place of choice.

Once you book your visit you’ll be sent a visit permit, which you’ll need to bring with you on the day.

Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • Facilities
    • PENDENNIS CASTLE: The castle buildings and grounds are open for you to enjoy while keeping to social distancing rules; including the Keep, the gun shed and battery observation post and the Half Moon Battery.
    • PARKING: Car and coach parking is a short 5 minute walk. Disabled visitors can drop off close to the castle entrance.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: The bookable education room is available.
    • TOILETS: Male and female toilets are located at the rear of the shop and on the first floor of the Royal Artillery Barrack Block.
    • LUNCH: There are picnic areas outdoors. Please book the education room for wet weather lunches. Group leaders are welcome to use the café, which will be open for drinks and light refreshments.
    • SHOP: The shop is open selling English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. Please bring your class in small groups at a time.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: Please also note that much of the site has uneven surfaces. Some areas of the castle are accessed via steps and stairs.
  • Hazard Information

    A useful tool to help with your risk assessments. 

     

    You must meet the following ratios for leaders to students on the day of your visit when booking, and if your group is forming smaller groups while at the site:

    • Ages 4-5 (UK Reception) 1 leader for every 4 students (1:4)
    • Ages 5-7 (UK Key Stage 1) 1 leader for every 6 students (1:6)
    • Ages 7-11 (UK Key Stage 2) 1 leader for every 10 students (1:10) and
    • Ages 11-18 (UK Key Stages 3, 4, and 5) 1 leader for every 15 students (1:15)
    • For an adult learning group, consisting of individuals all over the age of 18, there are no ratios but there must be an appointed group leader
    • All ratios outlined above apply to home education groups
    • If your group consists of children aged 3 and/or 4, you must also refer to the Early Years and Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which sets out specific legal requirements for minimum ratios for this age group, to include requirements about the qualifications of the leaders
    • SEND groups must meet the minimum ratios above but may bring any additional leaders as required to adequately support their group
  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer free self-led education visits during school term time*. From November until March we open exclusively for education groups at selected sites when booking an expert-led Discovery Visit. See our education opening times below for individual site information.

    *Free education visits are not offered on UK public holidays or during the operation of additional fee paying public events at English Heritage sites.

    • April-June: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday
    • July-August: Monday-Sunday 10-6pm. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday
    • September-5 November: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday
    • 6 November-23 December: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday
    • 26 December-1 January: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm.
    • 2 January-9 February: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday
    • 10 February-18 February: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm.
    • 19 February-31 March: Wednesday-Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday

Learning Resources

  • Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle Teachers' Kit (KS1-KS4+)

    Our Teachers’ Kits feature historical information and activity suggestions for group leaders of various subjects and key stages.

  • Teaching Tudors and Stuarts

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of the Tudors and Stuarts.

  • Local Learning: Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle

    Discover the unique historic environment around Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle with our suggested reading, activities and video resources. 

  • A Mini Guide to Castles

    ​Discover how castles developed over time with this short introduction.

  • Postcard from Pendennis Castle

    Take to the skies above Pendennis Castle to discover the site and its surroundings.

  • Teaching the 20th Century

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of 20th century history.

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