South West - Cornwall


Pendennis Headland,
Falmouth, Cornwall
TR11 4LP
t: 01326 316594

Pendennis Castle offers your tour group nearly 500 years of history at one of Cornwall’s greatest fortresses, imposingly sited overlooking the Fal Estuary. Begun around 1540, as one of Henry VIII’s chain of coastal artillery forts, Pendennis was strengthened by Queen Elizabeth I and many years later endured an epic Civil War siege for five months. Visitors can also see First World War life vividly recreated in ‘Fortress Falmouth’. It focuses on those who served or lived here. Interpretation reveals how they trained and prepared for attack and espionage as well as the food shortages caused by such a huge influx of servicemen.

  • Exhibition highlights include the poignant letters between officer, John Glasson Thomas, “Tommy” and his friend Gertrude Brooks during his time at Pendennis Castle - now back in the room where they were originally written.
  • Use audio-visuals to tour the Royal Artillery barracks, guard room and detention cells, set up as they were in 1914 -18.
  • Discover the story of how German spy, Mata Hari, was arrested at Falmouth, then released and deported before later being shot for espionage.
  • Explore the Tudor gun deck in the original artillery tower. Watch the noon day gun, which is fired daily from April until the end of October.
  • Enjoy magnificent views of Falmouth and the Fal Estuary.


Combine a visit with a trip to Pendennis’ sister fortress, St. Mawes Castle, accessible by foot-passenger ferry from Falmouth.