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24 September 2014
BBC Cornwall Attractions BBC Cornwall Attractions
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The castle on the hill
Restormel Castle
Capturing the history at Restormel Castle

Discover more about Restormel Castle which stands proud on a hill outside Loswithiel in Mid Cornwall.

Enjoy our photo gallery of the castle and its grounds.

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See other Cornish Attractions
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English Heritage
Find out more about the various English Heritage properties in Cornwall.

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RESTORMEL CASTLE

Restormel Castle is one of the former strongholds of the Earls of Cornwall, whose number included Edward, the Black Prince.

Dating from the 11th century, it was one of the first 'motte and bailey' castles to be raised in the West Country.

The Black Prince stayed at the castle in 1354 and 1365

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Surrounded by a deep moat and perched on a high mound, the huge circular keep of this castle, built at the turn of the 14th century, still survives and is a popular attraction in Cornwall.

Click here
enjoy a gallery of photographs from Restormel Castle.

Restormel Castle is a mile away from Lostwithiel, to the west of the River Fowey and it commands amazing views of the Cornish countryside.

The Keep itself is entered through the strong gateway, just above the moat, which has long since dried up.

There was originally a drawbridge over the moat leading to the entrance.

History Highlights

The early history of Restormel Castle is shrouded in mystery.

There is no mention of it in the Domesday Book. Researchers believe the first castle was built by Norman conquerors.

Restormel originally formed part of the Manor Of Bodardle. In 1086 this was held by Turstin the Sheriff. It seems likely it was his son Baldwin Fitz Turstin who built the original Restormel castle.

The site of the castle overlooks what was once the major crossing point of the River Fowey.

The gateway entrance dates from two periods. The inner part was probably the earliest stone building on the site. The outer extension dates from the 13th Century.

Towards the end of the century, the main castle buildings within the Keep were completed. These included the accommodation, Great Hall, and the kitchen which were all located around the circular inner courtyard at Restormel.

Restormel Castle
Entrance to the castle

The importance of the castle increased when the administrative centre for the area moved from Launceston to Lostwithiel.

It was probably King Edmund in the 13th Century who built the stone keep. This replaced the original timber defences.

In 1337 the castle, in a state of minor disrepair, passed into the hand of the first Duke Of Cornwall, Edward, The Black Prince. At this time, the deer park boasted 300 deer which made it the largest of its kind in Cornwall.

By the early 16th Century the castle was unoccupied and in an almost ruinous state. The keep was patched up during the civil war.

Restormel Castle
Restormel Castle today

The castle was captured by Sir Richard Grenville in 1644. This was probably the only time the area saw any military action.

The 18th Century saw the castle an ivy clad ruin.

Finally English Heritage took over the responsibility for the castle in 1984.

It is still owned by The Duchy Of Cornwall.

Restormel Castle Opening Times

1 Apr-30 Jun 10am-5pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1 Jul-31 Aug 10am-6pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1-30 Sep 10am-5pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1-31 Oct 10am-4pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun


Castle Admission

Adults: £2.20
Children: £1.10
Concession: £1.70
English Heritage Members: Free

Click here for more


More from English Heritage
Chysauster Ancient Village

This Celtic settlement was originally occupied almost 2,000 years ago. The ‘village’ consisted of eight stone-walled homesteads known as ‘courtyard houses’, which are only found on the Land’s End peninsula and the Isles of Scilly.

1 Apr-30 Jun 10am-5pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1 Jul-31 Aug 10am-6pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1-30 Sep 10am-5pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1-31 Oct 10am-4pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

Pedennis Castle

Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
1 Apr-30 Jun 10am-5pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1-30 Sep 10am-5pm Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1 Oct-31 Mar* 10am-4pm Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

24-26 Dec and 1 Jan Closed

1 Jul-31 Aug 10am-6pm* Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

*Closes at 5pm on Saturdays
*1 Apr - 31 Oct Sat access may be by guided tours only, closing at 4pm, call to confirm - 01326 316594.

St Catherine's Castle

Fowey:

A small fort built by Henry VIII in the 16th century to defend Fowey Harbour, with two storeys with gun ports at ground level.

Open All Year Any Reasonable Time Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

St Mawes Castle

St Mawes:
This, the most perfectly preserved of Henry VIII’s coastal fortresses, was built to counter the invasion threat from Europe in partnership with its twin, Pendennis, on the other side of the Fal Estuary.

1 Apr-30 Jun 10am-5pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1 Jul-31 Aug 10am-6pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1-30 Sep 10am-5pm*
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1-31Oct 10am-4pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1 Nov-31 Mar 10am-4pm
Mon Fri Sat Sun

24-26 Dec and 1 Jan Closed

*May close at 4pm on Saturdays from 1 Apr-31 Oct. Call to confirm 01326 270526

Tintagel Castle

With its spectacular location on one of England's most dramatic coastlines, Tintagel is an awe-inspiring and romantic spot.

Opening:
1 Apr-30 Sep 10am-6pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1-31 Oct 10am-5pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

1 Nov-31 Mar 10am-4pm
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun

24-26 Dec and 1 Jan Closed

 


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