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The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

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Trematon Castle

Age group: 8+

Location: EAST Cornwall


Contact: nr Saltash, PL12 4QS

TEL: n/a


Trematon Castle, near Saltash in east Cornwall, is located about 1.5 miles from Trematon village.


It is similar in style to the later Restormel Castle in Lostwithiel, with a 12th-century keep and it overlooks Plymouth Sound. It was probably built on the ruins of an earlier Roman fort: it is a motte-and-bailey castle and dates from soon after the Norman conquest. The keep is oval and has walls which are ten feet thick and thirty feet high my birds!


When Roger de Valletort sold Trematon Castle and Manor to Richard Earl of Cornwall, the rent was paid to the Earl's bailiff, which in the 13th century, this amounted to the princely sum of seven pounds sterling. The Castle has remained the property of the Earls and Dukes of Cornwall without interruption since 1270.


When Sir Francis Drake returned from his circumnavigation voyage in 1580, he came into harbour in Plymouth, then slipped out to anchor behind St Nicholas Island until word came from Queen Elizabeth's Court for the treasures he had gathered to be stored in Trematon Castle. The horde consisted of gold, silver, and precious stones, mainly emeralds....the result of piracy from Spanish ships along the west coast of South America.


Within the bailey wall is a bandbox Regency house built for an 18th-century surveyor to the duchy, who was allowed to demolish enough of the castle ramparts to create a view to Plymouth Sound.


From the castle you get great views of Drake’s Plymouth, with it's little boats bobbing around on the water, and often battleships in the distance and of course Brunel’s railway viaduct.

Saltash 1.5 miles, Callington 9 miles, Torpoint 16 miles