Things To See and Do
Dominating a high, rocky headland thrust out into the open sea, the great fortress of Pendennis has protected the entrance to the River Fal and its deep estuary, Carrick Roads, for nearly 500 years.
Pendennis offers breath-taking views over the town of Falmouth, nearby beaches and out to sea. Look out for sea-faring vessels of many kinds and a huge range of wildlife, birds and coastal creatures.
With so many vantage points to choose from you can always find a spot to admire the view, soak up the sun or sit and watch the world go by.
Weapons of War
Marvel at the display of big guns in the Field Train Shed and learn about the awesome power of these coast defence weapons. The collection includes Tudor, Napoleonic, Victorian and 20th-century guns, each with information on how it would have been used.
Continue around to One Gun Battery – once home to a 'disappearing gun', then descend through the rock cut tunnel to the Half Moon Battery.
Defending the Estuary
Follow the tunnels down to Half Moon Battery and discover the underground magazine where ammunition was stored during the Second World War. Imagine the drama as the big guns prepare to engage the enemy, and take a look around our camouflaged gun emplacements.
In 1943, the battery had a staff of 99, of which 36 were on the guns, with the remainder on searchlights and position-finding cells or employed in communications.
Scanning the Horizon
During the Second World War, the Battery Observation Post provided a round the clock watch to help keep Falmouth safe.
As you travel back to wartime Cornwall, discover how enemy ships were pinpointed on the horizon and the guns of Half Moon Battery controlled.
Be on the look out for approaching ships and listen in to conversations between the commander and his gun crews.
The Tudor Keep
Step into the noise and drama of a castle under attack in the castle keep.
A team of Tudor gunners can be seen in action with our new immersive installations; feel the fear and anticipation as the enemy approaches. Visitors can join the gunners on their race to the upper gun room, before testing their own skill (and nerve) loading an interactive cannon.
Climb the spiral stairs to the roof to experience its unparalleled views out to sea, and, with 360° panoramas, see why the castle's headland location was so strategically significant.
Guns and Cannons
Don't just see history, hear it too. Between April and October (except on event days), the noon day gun is fired using one of the original working guns from the castle's collection.
Dressed in authentic Edwardian uniform, a volunteer gun crew fire a rare 12-pounder QF (quick-firing) gun. The team has been specially trained to fire the gun and will give a short introductory talk before firing.
Watch our video about the historic guns and cannons at Pendennis Castle and find out about our vital conservation work.
A Bite to Eat
Our bright and airy cafe boasts a wide selection of meals freshly prepared here Pendennis Castle.
The menu includes both local and seasonal Cornish dishes and those with a historical Tudor twist, inspired by the castle's history as one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses.