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Restormel Castle

Visited May 2014

Location Near Lostwithiel, Cornwall
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby Yes- Lostwithiel
Parking Yes
Facilities Gift Shop, Toilets
Map

 

 


 

 


Review

 

Restormel castle was first built as part of the defences needed in Cornwall after the Norman invasion. The Godwin family were very powerful in the west country, and there was fierce resistance to William the Conqueror in Exeter.  After the resistance was crushed, the lands in Devon & Cornwall were shared out amongst William's loyal supporters, and this was probably when the original castle was raised.

 


 

 


 

The castle in its present form was the work of Edmund, Earl of Cornwall in the latter part of the 13th century. The castle was used as an administrative centre, and was Edmund's home. The castle was actually very poorly  designed from a defensive point of view,  for example the windows are large to let in light, rather than arrow slits. The buildings in the bailey also had a piped water supply- the utmost luxury at the time! There seemed to be very little concern about sieges at this time, so the castle was a symbol of wealth rather than military might.

 


 

 


 

Although in a ruined state, this is still a magnificent example of a shell keep, with the walls of the buildings within the keep still in existence.  The chapel was still intact until the civil war, the windows were then filled in so that guns could be mounted on them. The Battle of Lostwithiel took place nearby in 1644, the Royalists claimed a victory which ensured Cornwall was held for the king for most of the civil war.  This was the castle's only real brush with military action, after that it was a back drop to the garden of nearby Restormel House. It is still owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, but is managed by English Heritage.

 

There is plenty of space in the former bailey to run around, or have a picnic, if you choose. There is a small shop and toilets on site, but no café. However, the town of Lostwithiel is close by if you require facilities.

 

 


 

 


 

More info: English Heritage Restormel Castle

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