Pendennis catsle Featured image

The History of Pendennis Castle

LocationFalmouth, Cornwall, England (Google Map)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned ByEnglish Heritage
Official WebsitePendennis Castle
Rooms AvailableNo

Henry VIII built Pendennis Castle as one of his coastal forts constructed for protecting the Fal Estuary from the threat of invasion from Spain and France. Located in Falmouth, Cornwall, Pendennis castle is filled with unbelievable sceneries and sea views. The building is over 450 years old and welcomes tourists to experience the tunnels, underground magazines, checkout costumed characters, and much more.


Pendennis Castle was built as a pair with St. Mawes Castle by Henry VIII at Carrick Road’s entrance. Its age exceeded 450 years and was specially designed in a round pattern so that soldiers could fire the guns from all angles if the French or Spanish enemies attacked them or they saw their ships coming from a distance.

The construction work of Pendennis Castle started in October 1540, and the first element he built there was probably a tiny artillery blockhouse called Little Dennis. Later, a two-story D-Shape structure with three gun ports was built. The main castle was located on higher ground and had the same design as other Henrician forts.

The castle never came across any attacks. As a consequence of the Civil War in 1646, the last royalist strongholds fell out, and around 1000 people, including kids and adults, survived about 155 days of siege under the parliamentarian’s attack. At that time, the castle was ruined. Later in 1660, Charles II renovated the castle after restoring the throne.

The British and France were regularly at war for centuries. Till the 18th century, the castle has seen many peacetimes, rearmaments, and reinforcements for the threat of wars. Later, military technology advanced by the end of the 19th century, and new barracks and magazines were constructed. Also, other upgrades as per the French Revolution were done. New installations were added to St. Anthony Head.

In 1805, Nelson’s got the victory at Trafalgar, and the fear of wars and attacks decreased. The Pendennis Castle was started using as a supply base for the British Army. It was used to command and control West Cornwall’s coastal defence during the First World War. After that, it resumed its earlier role as a Supply depot for the British Army. During World War II, all the equipped heavy guns were removed and replaced with lightweight weapons, twin 6-point quick-firing guns, and more that could deal with the threat of E-boats. At that time, several engagements and attacks were noticed near Pendennis Castle.

After World War II, the peace finally returned, and the Pendennis castle became a training post for the Coast Artillery Branch till 1956. A year later, it was opened for visitors and became one of the most loved attractions in Falmouth. Now, it is cared for and maintained by English Heritage.


Pendennis Castle
Pendennis Castle”, by Darren Shilson, is licensed under CC-BY-2.0

Pendennis Castle is overlooking Carrick Roads and the sea. Its structure includes the original century device fort from the 16th century surrounded by an outer defence’s ring. Also, there are gun batteries and a black house near the shore. The castle also includes different Ramparts made up of stone with protective ditches near the gatehouse and southeast corner, making attacking enemies much more accessible.

The interior of the Pendennis castle is built using granite ashlar and rubble. It has a circular keep with gun platforms all around. The thick walls of the castle are still standing straight. The castle’s basement has a kitchen, cellar, and larder rooms. The ground and first floor have some empty spaces initially used to keep guns. The roof has seven gun embrasures and a lookout turret. The spiral staircase connects all the floors.

The castle architecture also has a stone bridge and rectangular gatehouse. The other interiors of the building are like other military buildings. The castle also has two camouflaged gun houses from the Second World War era. People can visit the castle and experience its historical and defensive architecture and seaside views.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Pendennis Castle?

Pendennis Castle is located in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. It is jutting out into the Carrick Roads and at the coast of the sea.

When was Pendennis Castle built?

The Pendennis Castle was constructed between 1539 and 1545 by Henry VIII. It is over 450 years old and has contributed to the coastal defences.

What is Pendennis Castle famous for?

Pendennis Castle is famous for defending England from attacks and being a supply base for the British Army. Also, it played a key role in the English Civil War, Napoleonic War, First World War, and Second World War. It is one of today’s most beloved attractions in Falmouth.

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He is a versatile E-Learning Support Officer and former Academic Officer at the University of York, United Kingdom. Not just an expert in education and technology, Debayan also has a deep love for castles and mountains. With a passion for travel, having explored 168+ cities worldwide, and a keen eye for photography, He brings a unique blend of experiences to the table. Specializing in E-learning content, IT support, AR development, and software engineering, Debayan has made a significant impact, educating over 200,000 students on Udemy.

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