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The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

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St Catherine's Castle

Age group: 10+

Location: MID Cornwall


Contact: Fowey, PL23 1JH

TEL: 0870 3331181


St Catherines Castle in Fowey, mid Cornwall, is one of a pair of small artillery forts built by Henry VIII in the 1530s (the other being Polruan Blockhouse across the water my birds).


It was designed to defend Foweys deep natural harbour, and it consists of two storeys with gun ports at ground level.


To get to this attraction you will need to walk, as the nearest carpark is approximately 1 mile away but its easy enough to find from Readymoney Cove. St Catherine’s Castle takes its name from the rocky headland on which it stands. Its position, which is high above the entrance to the Fowey estuary, is spectacular and from the terrace there are superb views across the attractive town and harbour, and of course across the river to Polruan.


The building work was supervised by Thomas Treffry, whose family had played a leading role in the town for several generations. Treffry went on to supervise the building of Pendennis and St Mawes castle's in the 1540s too.


In the mid-19th century the fear of invasion returned during the Crimean War, leading to a general refortification of the south coast. A battery for two guns was built on the levelled platform on the tip of the headland below the fort, protected behind a parapet wall. A magazine was built into the rock beside the curtain wall entrance.



Notes: Dogs on leads are welcome. Parking is at Readymoney Cove Car Park my birds, approximately three quarters of a mile walk away.

Fowey 1 mile, Polruan 1.5 miles,  St Austell 10 miles