St Mawes Castle


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. 

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: There is a temporary toilet block on site until further notice.
    • 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:   There is shop which is located in the main entrance (directly on the coastal path), selling a selection of English Heritage gifts and themed souvenirs. We recommend bringing your students in small groups at a time
    • ACCESSIBILITY: The disabled parking is located approximately 30 yards from the entrance (visitors will need to be able to cross a path/walk down steps after parking). There are no ramps at the site. Wheelchair access is extremely restricted, although is possible to enter the shop and courtyard.
  • 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.

  • Find out more


  • School visits from September 2020

    Education bookings for learners of all ages and abilities will be open from 31 August, and you’ll be able to book for visits from September 2020 to March 2021. If you already have a booking with us in that time, we’ll be in touch over the next few weeks.

    In the meantime if you have a query related to an existing booking or would like more information please email

    We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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