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“Castle”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Restormel Castle

Restormel Castle
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A great 13th century circular keep standing on an earlier Norman mound, atop a high spur beside the River Fowey. Twice visited by the Black Prince, it finally saw action during the Civil War. Commanding fantastic views, it makes an excellent picnic spot. Child friendly and dog friendly.
Bodmin, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Castle”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2012

A lovely castle to walk round, very exciting to climb the steps and walk around the top of the castle. A small interesting castle with great views.

Visited October 2012
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Thank turpy81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 reviews from our community

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English first
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
340 reviews
198 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 776 helpful votes
“Superb 12th century castle in w wonderful position”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

This fine old castle was constructed in 1100 AD by the Normans on a spur, overlooking the Fowey river valley and the important town of Lostwithiel that stood within that valley. It was built in the typical motte-and-bailey style and was surrounded with a wide and deep moat. The Norman structure replaced a long since ruined earlier fortification from Saxon times. The design was somewhat unusual in that it featured a huge, circular shell keep that enclosed the major rooms of the castle. When viewed from above, it more resembles an amphitheatre. The land all around was originally a 300-acre deer park, provided for the enjoyment of the castle’s patrons.

The castle’s defenses were perfect; the moat was more than 50 feet wide and the main entrance featured a huge, stout drawbridge that when raised, would have sealed the occupiers safely inside. The land all around was considerably lower than the point on which the castle was built, offering unrivalled views of the countryside or more importantly, the approach of any potential invaders. Indeed, the castle was so well defended that it saw only one major bout of action during its long history when in 1644, the armies of Charles I drove out the Parliamentarians who had garrisoned the castle.

Little remains of the original Saxon fortification although some masonry of a very early date can be seen at the base of the gate tower. Much of the Saxon stronghold would have been of wooden design anyway, thus the reason why so little has remained intact. The Norman building would have been infinitely stronger and far better built. Testament to this is the battlement parapet that is almost intact today, some 800 years after construction.

Towards the end of the 12th century, most of the main buildings within the keep were finished which included the accommodation, kitchen and great hall, all located around the circular courtyard. A well was also dug in the courtyard to provide a fresh water supply. The final building to be added was the chapel. A wide archway was cut through the keep that led to the chapel although virtually no evidence of this remains now.

After Cornwall was elevated from its position of Earldom to that of Dukedom (Duchy), the castle became the seat of the Duke and the lands would have provided an income for his eldest son, as indeed Prince Charles as the present Duke of Cornwall still relies upon Duchy lands for his only official source of income. Edward, the Black Prince lived here briefly on two occasions. By the time of the English Civil War, much of Restormel had already fallen into dereliction with only a brief respite when the Parliamentarians garrisoned it. The castle was finally captured on 8th September 1644 after which it was left to decay.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank GBfromDevizes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2012

Good old fashioned English Heritage castle! Friendly staff and great views. Fun had by all the family.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank gwiazda99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fareham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
135 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“more effort please!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2012

ok for a few hours i spose,,the kids were bored in no time! not a lot of it left tbh,,,more a place to visit if your a castle geek! they could do a lot lot more with this place!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank david l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Hidden gem!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

Loved it, all of us! My children played knights and got to explore the castle. It was magical and not what any of us expected.

Helpful?
1 Thank JOjOnes_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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