English Heritage Sites in Cornwall
Steeped in a history of saints, myths and legends, there are some fascinating English Heritage sites to visit in Cornwall. Castles, burial mounds, standing stones and secret passageways all await.
Overlooking the River Fowey, the 13th century circular shell keep and castle stand on a former Norman site. With remarkably preserved rooms, the castle is a favourite picnic spot and you can be entertained by theatre performances in the summer evenings.
Lostwithiel, towards the south coast. PL22 0EE.
St Catherine’s Castle
One of a pair of artillery forts built to defend Fowey harbour. Park at Ready Money Cove car park and walk ¾ mile to the two storey fort. Dogs on leads are welcome.
Fowey, south coast. PL23 1JH.
Tudor Fortress built by Henry VIII as defence against a coastal invasion. Find out about life as a soldier in the interactive discovery centre or watch a medieval joust. With a war time cartoon collection, Tudor gun room and home-made refreshments available.
Falmouth, south coast. TR11 4LP.
St Mawes Castle
Restored Tudor military fortress looking out towards Pendennis Castle. Take an audio tour and discover the history behind the castle and its unusual inscriptions.
St Mawes, nr Truro, south. TR2 5DE.
Reputedly the birthplace of King Arthur, learn about the legends and find out what the tunnel on the island was used for. Refreshments include locally sourced crab sandwiches, fish and chips and homemade cakes. Coastal walks close by. If you are also a National Trust member then visit Tintagel’s old post office at the same time.
Tintagel, north coast. PL34 0HE.
Built just after the Norman Conquest, the castle and grounds overlook the town and have a colourful prison history! Browse the exhibition tracing 1000 years of history and climb to the top of the tower to keep an eye on the peasants in the surrounding countryside. Souvenir shop.
Launceston, north. PL15 7DR.
Ancient Villages & Settlements
Chysauster Ancient Village
One of the best examples of an ancient Iron Age village.
Penzance, west coast. TR20 8XA.
Carn Euny Ancient Village
Iron Age settlement occupied until roman times with the foundations and intriguing underground passage still visible.
West Sancreed, nr Penzance, west coast. TR20 8RB.
Hidden amongst the woods, a clearing shows the outline of a moated 13th century manor house.
Treskinnick Cross, nr Week St Mary, north. EX22 6XW.
Halliggye Fogou Caves
An underground stone passageway associated with Cornish Iron Age settlements. Situated on the Trelowarren Estate, English Heritage members can have free entry to the fogou, but will need to pay to enter the rest of the estate.
Lizard, nr Helston, south coast. TR12 6AF.
Stones & Burial Chambers
St Breock Downs Monolith
The largest and heaviest of Cornwall’s prehistoric monuments.
Rosenannon, north. PL30 5PN.
A large ‘dolmen’ burial chamber from the Neolithic period (3500-2500BC), which predates both the pyramids in Egypt and metal tools. It is comprised of 5 standing stones and a large capstone.
St Cleer, south. PL14 5JY.
King Doniert’s Stone
Two stones with a Celtic cross pattern and inscription to King Dumgarth dating them to around 875AD.
St Cleer, south. PL14 6EG.
Tregiffian Burial Chamber
Walled and roofed Neolithic or early Bronze Age tomb.
St Buryan, south west coast. TR19 6BQ.
Housing a spring believed to cure whooping cough, the well house was built by local Augustinian canons to cover an immersion pool for cure seekers.
Callington, south. PL17 8AD.
Hurler’s Stone Circles
Three ceremonial Neolithic or early Bronze Age stone circles, possibly the best example in the south west and unique in appearance. Cornish legend has it that they are the petrified remains of men who dared to play hurling on a Sunday! Dogs on leads welcome, parking ¼ mile away.
Minions, south. PL14 5LE.