St Mawes Castle

Schools

One of the best preserved of Henry VIII's coastal artillery fortresses, St Mawes was part of a chain of forts built in response to the threat of invasion from Catholic France and Spain. It was also garrisoned during the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2, and with all of this history represented at the site, there are plenty of learning opportunities to explore with your class. 

Information about your visit

Our number one priority remains the health, safety and security of all of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Our staff are still working hard to keep everyone safe and make sure you and your group have an enjoyable visit.

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’re continuing to limit visitor numbers at some sites and in some indoor spaces. Please book as soon as possible to secure your preferred trip date and times.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit and make sure you download our COVID risk assessments; download a free copy of managing education visits during the pandemic and if you're participating in a Discovery Visit download our managing Discovery Visits during the pandemic risk assessment
  • To make the planning process as easy as possible, make sure you check our Plan Your School Trip section at the bottom of this page, for updated information on the facilities at the site as well as our free resources.
  • You’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our terms and conditions for full details.
  • Although is it not a requirement, any teachers, parents, or students aged 16 years can check in via the NHS Test and Trace app, using the NHS QR code posters displayed at the site entrance. Please factor this into your travel/arrival time. For more information about how we are handling your personal data for NHS Test and Trace please visit this page.
  • Our staff are continuing to wear a face covering in our busy areas and indoor spaces, and we encourage you and your group to do the same where possible.

At some sites you might not be able to use our handling collections or costumes as part of a free self-led visit, but where we can provide hands-on items in a safe way we will. We’ve adapted our Discovery Visit workshops to keep you and your group safe at all times, but for certain sessions we’re still working on this – please check the Discovery Visit section and Facilities section on this page below for further information.

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to St Mawes Castle will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the curriculum and key stages.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality
  • KS2 History: A local history study. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Geography: Use geographical skills and fieldwork. Types of settlement and land use. Understand the strategic significance of the castle’s position
  • KS3 History: A local history study. The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745. Ideas, political power, industry & empire: Britain 1745-1901. Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day
  • KS3 Geography: Understand how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems

Free Self-Led Visits

Book a free self-led visit to St Mawes Castle and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Enter the castle through the original guardhouse, and look out for the handgun loops in the walls and murder holes under the arch. Look down the "oubliette" in the gun tower, used for punishing prisoners, and explore the rooms in the castle keep, including the basement kitchen with a large fireplace and bread oven.  Outside are various bastions and gun platforms, showing the different developments in the castle defences over time, including remains of Tudor gun platforms, cannons and the saluting battery.

Find out more

Plan your trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. 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 for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team is on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: Parking charges apply to non-members. The upper car park contains 15 spaces and two disabled spaces. When more parking is required, visitors can use the castle's lower car park. A set of concrete steps and a steep road separate the car parks with the site entrance. Unfortunately the site is not suitable for coaches, however mini buses are allowed. The nearest off-site car park is located in St Mawes village - charges apply.
    • TOILETS: Toilets are available at the site.
    • FOOD AND DRINK: You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds. There are plenty of grassed areas and a number of bench seats, although no tables. 
    • SHOP: The shop sells a range of English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. Please bring your students in supervised small groups.
  • Learning Resources

    A Teachers' Kit is a free educational tool packed with everything you need to give your group a deep insight into the place you are visiting. Featuring historical information, suggestions for activities, and high-quality images, this resource is a comprehensive toolkit for group leaders of various subjects and key stages. Teachers’ Kits also include key site information, facilities and plans.

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