Find the nearest History & Heritage in Cornwall
Our History and Heritage category brings all Coast Radar’s Cornwall listings related to looking for something to do or a place to visit together where they offer some form of historic or heritage based activity.
Finding the best things to see and do on a Cornwall day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the historic and heritage links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next Cornwall activity.
- Bodmin Jail was designed by Sir John Call and built in 1779 by prisoners of war, and was operational for 150 years closing in 1927. During this time the jail saw over 50 public hangings with the last one taking place in 1909. Today a lot of the jail is in ruins but the tourist attraction is over six floors and takes you through the history and experiences.
- Pendennis Castle was built by King Henry VIII to defend against possible attack by Spain and France and was in use right up to the Second World War. It guarded the important anchorage of Carrick Roads, sharing the task with St Mawes castle on the other side of the Fal estuary. The castle has an interactive exhibition or spend time exploring the cells of the WWI guard house, and relive the drama of an enemy attack on the WWII observation post. The castle has some great views looking out over Castle Beach and on towards Gylly Beach.
- Saint Mawes Castle is among the best-preserved of Henry VIII’s coastal artillery fortresses. The castle was one of the chain of forts built between 1539 and 1545 to counter an invasion threat from Catholic France and Spain, it guarded the important anchorage of Carrick Roads, sharing the task with Pendennis Castle on the other side of the Fal estuary.
- Cotehele is a Tudor house with superb collections of textiles, armour and furniture. The house is set around three courtyards and the grounds have a valey garden and terraced gardens with many paths you can explore alongside the River Tamar. The garden includes a domed medieval dovecote and passes down to a quay.
- Porth Hellick Down is an area of downland on the east side of the island of St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly. Seven Scillonian entrance graves stand on the down, the largest is the Great Tomb which has a 12m diameter and a central burial chamber 3m long and 1m high. An unroofed passage 4.2m long leads into the chamber at an angle.
- St Catherine’s Castle is one of a pair of small artillery forts, built by Thomas Treffry approximately 1540. The D-shaped, stone fortification, equipped with five gun-ports for cannon, overlooked the mouth of the River Fowey. It was protected by a curtain wall and the surrounding cliffs. The castle was closed at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, although brought back into service in 1855 during the Crimean War, but it soon became obsolete and was abandoned. During the Second World War the castle was refortified and used to house a battery of naval guns, protecting the coast against the threat of attack. At the end of the conflict the castle was restored to its previous condition and is now managed by English Heritage as a tourist attraction.