4 historic castles to visit in Cornwall

August 14th, 2015

With a vibrant history which can boast both Roman and Celtic influences, Cornwall is a fascinating place to visit for those who wish to find out more about the varied heritage of Great Britain, and what better way to explore this than to take in the grandeur of some of the region’s finest historic castles?

We’ve handpicked four of the most interesting and picturesque castles which are well worth a visit, all situated within a short distance of our luxury Cornwall resorts here at The Valley.

St Michael’s Mount

Situated near the village of Marazion, St Michael’s Mount does not only consist of a towering fortress, but also a legendary causeway, where a giant is said to have once walked, and an island of paradise. Here modern life meets a history which stems back over a thousand years, and you can visit either by foot or by boat.

St Mawes Castle

Built between 1539 and 1545 in order to help guard against a threat from Catholic France and Spain, St Mawes is one of the best-preserved of Henry VIII’s coastal artillery fortresses, sharing duties with Falmouth’s Pendennis Castle over the estuary. Intricately carved with Latin inscriptions in praise of the famous king, as well as his son Edward VI, the castle’s main purpose was to mount heavy ship-sinking guns.

Pendennis Castle

Situated the other side of the estuary to St Mawes Castle, Pendennis Castle was also built to counter the threat from France and Spain, though it also played a role a hundred years later in the Civil War, playing host to the future King Charles II in 1646, before withstanding five months of siege as a Royalist stronghold. It was also vital to Cornwall’s defences in the Second World War, and is now home to a collection of wartime cartoons drawn by George Butterworth.

Tintagel Castle

Said to be the birthplace of the legendary King Arthur, Tintagel Castle is a magical fortress steeped in mystery. Situated on the north coast of Cornwall, the castle itself was built by Richard, the Earl of Cornwall in 1233, and is seen to have been built to reinforce his connections with the legend of King Arthur. The village of Tintagel has a deeper history still, being an important trading post for Celtic kings and a former Roman settlement.

Images: Nilfanion, Pam Brophy, available under Creative Commons