The castles and museums of Cornwall take us back to days of old, teaching us about Cornwall’s cherished heritage. Learn about the legends that link us to those that built, fought and lived on these sites hundreds of years ago.
Descend through the tunnels of one of Henry VIII’s finest castle fortresses at Pendennis Castle. Experience the sights and sounds of battle, and stand overlooking the coast, just as those who came under attack in the 17th century would have done hundreds of years ago. Explore the current exhibition examining the role of the castle as a part of of Fortress Falmouth during WWI.
Restormel Castle is a 13th century circular shell-keep atop an earlier Norman mound, commanding impressive 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside and River Fowey. Visit Restormel if you are a history buff or looking for somewhere to enjoy an afternoon picnic. While visiting the castle, keep an eye out for the beautiful wildlife and birds around the site.
Be transported back to days of old at Tintagel Castle, when knights battled and ladies swooned, discover the legend of King Arthur, and see if your budding heroes have what it takes to become a knight of the round table. The mythical and breathtaking surroundings have inspired writers and artists alike for centuries, with views across the azure coast waters through the atmospheric ruins.
Jaimaca Inn Smugglers Museum
The subject of one of Daphne du Maurier’s most popular novels, Jamaica Inn is full of legend, mystery, romance and according to folklore, the odd friendly spirit, and is set in one of the most evocative moorland locations within the British Isles. At the museum, learn tales of wreckers, murderers and villains and bring the stories to life by re-enacting pirate adventures on the pirate ship.
Atop a natural mound dominating the natural landscape, Launceston Castle, a 13th century round tower built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, has a colourful history as a prison. Play king of the castle by climbing to the top of the impressive tower, try on costumes and discover 1,000 years of the castle’s past in the exhibition.
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Visit the NMMC to learn about Cornwall’s strong connection with the sea, which has acted as an essential lifeline and source of food to the community for centuries. The collections consist of a range of objects, boats, art and archives in support of the museum’s aim to teach people about small boats and their place in people’s lives, and the maritime heritage of Cornwall. Explore the story of the iconic culture of the Vikings, discover the hidden histories of women at sea and understand how Europe saw the world over 400 years ago at their current exhibitions.
St Michael’s Mount
Every child loves a castle. Fire imaginations at St Michael’s Mount by practising swash-buckling skills, hunting for clues, enjoying story-telling fun and completing the entertaining castle quiz. Reach the castle walls of St Michaels’ Mount by striding the causeway or crossing by boat from the beach at Marazion.
The Arthurian Centre
Near the market town of Camelford, the Arthurian Centre sits within 20 acres surrounding King Arthur’s Stone, dating to AD540. Walk through the fields where King Arthur and Mordred met for their very last battle, discover the legend in the exhibition room or head on a nature trail to discover the archaeological findings.
St Mawes Castle
One of the best preserved and elaborately decorated of Henry VIII’s artillery fortresses, St Mawes Castle is just across the Fal Estuary from Pendennis. Dating back to Tudor times, St Mawes is stunning inside and out. See the ‘gunners’ at rest in the gun room, look out across the sea and see where prisoners were held captive.
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