Pendennis Castle - English Heritage

Pendennis Castle - English Heritage
TR11 4LP



01326 316594 <br>Local Tourist Information: 01326 312300


01326 319911

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
An exterior view of Pendennis Castle
Food icon Shop icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Discover the wartime secrets of Cornwall’s greatest fortress. Pendennis Castle was built by King Henry VIII to defend against possible attack by Spain and France. Throughout its 450-year history, Pendennis Castle has faced new enemies, right up to the Second World War. See a Tudor gun deck in action, and experience the sights and sounds of battle in the interactive exhibition at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

Explore the cells of the WWI guard house, and relive the drama of an enemy attack on the WWII observation post. Then descend through secret tunnels to the big guns of Half Moon Battery. Explore centuries of war time history or simply relax , enjoy the scenery and indulge in a Cornish cream tea in the newly refurbished tea room. In its superb coastal setting, Pendennis offers magnificent views of Falmouth and the Fal Estuary.

Venue Type:

Castle or defences

Opening hours

1 Apr-30 Jun 10am-5pm daily (closes 4pm Sat) / 1 Jul-31 Aug 10am-6pm daily (closes 4pm Sat) / 1-30 Sep 10am-5pm daily (closes 4pm Sat) / 1Oct-31 Mar 10am-4pm daily / Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan

Admission charges



  • English Heritage

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Fortress Falmouth and the First World War

  • 12 July — 31 December 2014 *on now

As holidaymakers in their thousands descend on Cornwall and the harbour town of Falmouth, a new English Heritage exhibition at Pendennis Castle reveals that 100 years ago, as war swept through Europe, things were rather different in the picturesque seaside town.

At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 Falmouth was placed onto a war footing as a Defended Port and Pendennis Castle was called into action as the military headquarters. Strongpoints, checkpoints and trenches defended the approaches to the town and thousands of troops came for training before going to war in France, Belgium and across the world. At its height at least 7,000 and perhaps as many as 14,000 troops were stationed within the area of Fortress Falmouth.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Cornwall, King and Castle Discovery Visit

Join Lady Anne Fanshawe to find out what life was like at Pendennis Castle during the English Civil War. Develop source investigation skills through examining documents and artefacts from the time and work in teams to discover what life was like for Paliamentarians and Royalists during the castle siege in 1646. This interactive tour uses role play, costume, artefacts and investigation to reveal what life was like in the Tudor period. Can you work as a team to work out how the canons were fired? Will you be able to make butter in the castle kitchen?
Duration: 1 hour
Key Stage: 2, 3, History, Literacy

How to obtain

Call 0117 975 0720 to book a 1 hour session each weekday during term time. Price £60 per group of up to 30 pupils until April 2009, £75 per group after April 2009. Visit for more information.

The Home Front: Soldiers and Sirens Discovery Visit

Join this interactive tour to discover what life was like for soldiers at Pendennis Castle during World War II. Experience what it was like underground during an air raid. Work as a team to see how the guns were fired and use your detective skills to examine the World War II artefacts.
Duration: 1 hour
Key Stage: 2, 3, History, Drama, Literacy

How to obtain

Call 0117 975 0720 to book a 1 hour session each weekday during term time. Price £60 per group of up to 30 pupils until April 2009, £75 per group after April 2009. Visit for more information.