Castles in Cornwall have existed since early man fortified many points around the coast, these must have been fairly massive structures for their day, as the ramparts can still be seen clearly in many locations today as you walk the coast path.
There was never enough agricultural wealth in Cornwall to attract the invaders. So it tended to miss out on the wave of Norman castles that were put up soon after the conquest. Restormel and Launceston are the only two examples of note.
Then there are the two Tudor castles at St Mawes and Falmouth that guard the Carrick Roads. In fact the thought of invasion hung heavily over Cornwall for the last five hundred years. There were the odd skirmishes with the Spanish or French, and many headlands were used to house beacons as warning of approaching enemy fleets.
Even in this century gun emplacements and coast lookouts sprouted everywhere. Most of these were not too permanent, and all that remains is the concrete bases on many headlands and vantage points.
Bossiney Castle Bossiney Castle was a Norman earthwork motte and bailey fortress, now just a mound
Bottreaux Castle Bottreaux Castle was probably built between 1154 and 1189 and was a stone motte and bailey fortress. Now a mound.
Caerhays Castle Caerhays is a Victorian Gothic pile built around 1808, and located on the coast near Mevagissey
Cardinham Castle Cardinham Castle today only shows earthwork remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle
Carn Brea Castle Carn Brea Castle is a 14th century stone twin towered fortress.
Castle Dore Castle Dore is a small circular fort dating from 200 BC
Chun Castle Chun Castle is an Iron Age Hill Fort near Lands End
Cliff Castle Cliff Castle, Newquay is an Iron Age Promontory Fort. Many Cornish headlands had these forts.
Helston Castle Helston Castle, a 13th century castle, now virtually disappeared.
Launceston Castle Launceston Castle is medieval and was used by the powerful Earls of Cornwall. A ruin, but much structure remains
Maen Castle Maen Castle is a very typical example of a "Cliff" Castle, or Iron Age Promontory Fort
Pendennis Castle Pendennis Castle faces St Mawes Castle across Falmouth Harbour. A pair of Tudor fortresses
Pengersick Castle Pengersick Castle is a fortified Tudor manor house tucked away in Praa Sands (between Helston and Penzance).
Restormel Castle A 14th cent stone castle, built on an earlier Norman motte and bailey fort. Owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.
St Catherines Castle St Catherine's Castle was built in 1536 by Henry VIII near Fowey.
St Michaels Mount St Michael's Mount is in Mounts Bay, Cornwall and is now owned by the National Trust. Formerly a Benedictine Priory.
St Mawes Castle St Mawes Castle looks across to its big brother Pendennis over at Falmouth. Built by Henry VIII
Tintagel Castle Tintagel Castle that you see today dates from around 1233, and legendary home of King Arthur
Tremanton Castle Trematon Castle is of similar design to Restormel castle with a 12th century shell-keep.
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