Pendennis Castle is Cornwall’s greatest fortress.
This superb 16th Century Tudor castle is magnificently situated on a headland overlooking Falmouth,the Fal Estuary and Carrick Roads, with water surrounding the castle on three sides.
450 years of history can now be traced from its origins as one of Henry VIII's coastal strongholds to its last military role as a secret Second World War base.
Built originally by Henry VIII between 1540 and 1545 , as a reaction to the threat of invasion by European States, Pendennis became part of a much larger fortress during the reign of Elizabeth I.
Its primary purpose was as an artillery fort, housing as much fire power as possible to protect the important Falmouth harbour.
During the following centuries Pendennis has seen several modernisations and additions which allowed it to play an important part in Britain's coastal defences up until the 1950's.
Major developments at the castle have revealed the full history of this superb fortress for the first time.
During the Second World War Pendennis was the Command Centre for Cornwall, protecting not only the Cornish coast and the important port of Falmouth but the whole of the western approaches to Britain.
With so much to explore undercover, Pendennis Castle can be enjoyed throughout the year whatever the weather.
Special Points of Interest include:
During July and August, daily at noon, one of the castle’s guns is fired to mark midday (except on special event days)
The Guardhouse, complete with cells, has been returned to its First World War appearance, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the reality of life in WW I conditions.
Visit the Discovery Centre packed with hands-on activities allowing visitors of all ages to really get to grips with history.
Also new is the first public access to the restored underground Victorian and WWII defences complete with sounds and smells! Explore the secret defences, including the Second World War Half Moon Battery.
The everyday life of the garrison at Pendennis is brought to life in the War Shelter, whilst the drama of Pendennis at War is also recreated.
View the 16th Century keep with its lofty battlements and explore the mighty Tudor gun-deck with the sights and sounds of battle.
Guided tours lead visitors through the underground magazines during an air raid, whilst in the recreated Battery Observation Post they can experience what happens as the alert sounds warning of an impending enemy attack.
Throughout the year, Pendennis hosts a wide variety of special events. Please see 'This Month in Cornwall' and 'What's Up'on the home page for details of forthcoming events.
Pendennis Castle is licensed for civil wedding ceremonies
Facilities are available for visitors who have a disability:
Parking 150m from entrance and visitors may be set down at the keep entrance.
The ground floor of the exhibition, shop, toilets and cafe all have manageable access.
Access to the castle is via impacted gravel paths.
Portable ramps are available to access the ground floor of the keep.
In the grounds, areas are mostly grass and tarmac , but assistance may be needed for some steeper parts. There are many excellent viewpoints and benches are provided.
Braille and large print hand outs are available for visually impaired visitors.
A seasonal cafe, open from April - October provides refreshments. Hot and cold drinks are available from the shop. There is a picnic area within the grounds.
Car parking is immediately outside castle on ‘Castle Drive’.
Opening Times 2015
21 February – 29 March Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm
30 March onwards Times available soon.
Adult: £7.70 (Gift Aid price) £7.00 (Non Gift Aid price)
Child (5 - 15 years) £4.70 (Gift Aid price) £4.20 (Non Gift Aid price)
Concession (Students and OAPs) £7.00 (Gift Aid price)
£6.30 (Non Gift Aid price)
Family Ticket (2 adults & 3 children) £20.10 (Gift Aid price)
£18.20 (Non Gift Aid price)
E H Members Free
With EH membership you can explore all their castles and ancient monuments in Cornwall and over 400 historic sites throughout England for a whole year.
Membership starts at £39 a year.
Up to 6 accompanying children, up to age 19, get free admission per adult member.
Join by Direct Debit and receive 15 months membership for the price of 12 (3 months free).
EH Membership has many more benefits.
To find out more or to join please click
English Heritage - Membership
Group Discounts are available
A 15% discount for groups of 11 or more and free entry for the coach driver and tour leader.
Coaches can set down or pick up in Hornworks car park.
Dogs are permitted on leads in restricted areas.
For a great journey through history or simply to enjoy the best views in Falmouth, Pendennis Castle is the ideal venue for a great day out for all the family.
The castle is located half a mile south of Falmouth town centre on Pendennis headland.