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  • Tintagel

English Heritage sites in Cornwall

As a county built on myths and legends, castles, burial mounds, standing stones and secret passageways are all English Heritage sites in Cornwall available for you to visit whilst on holiday.

Ancient castles

Restormal Castle – 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.

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 3/4 mile to the two storey fort. Dogs on leads are welcome. Fowey, south coast. 

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.

Pendennis Castle – 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. Falmouth, south coast.

Tintagel Castle – 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.

Launceston Castle – 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.

St Mawes Castle

Restormal Castle

Launceston Castle

Ancient Villages and settlements

Chysauster Ancient Village – One of the best examples of an ancient iron age village. Penzance, west coast. 

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.

Penhallam Manor – Hidden amongst the woods, a clearing shows the outline of a moated 13th century manor house. Treskinnick Cross, nr Week St Mary, north.

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. Trelowarren estate, Lizard, nt Helston, south coast.

Burial Chambers

Tregiffian Burial Chamber – Walled and roofed neolithic or early Bronze Age tomb. St Buryan, south west coast.

Ballowall Barrow  – Situated on the cliff top and excavated in Victorian times this bronze age tomb was a sacred site. Nr Carn Gloose, St Just, west coast.

Chysauster Ancient Village     Halliggye-fogu     Trethevy quoit

Stones and other features

Trethevy Quoit – A large neolithic ‘dolmen’ burial chamber comprised of 5 standing stones and a large capstone. St Cleer, south.

King Doniert’s Stone – Two stones with a celtic cross pattern and inscription to King Dumgarth dating them to around 875AD. St Cleer, south.

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 1/4 mile away. Minions, south.

Dupath Well – 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.