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“worth a visit but take some food”
Review of Restormel Castle

Restormel Castle
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“worth a visit but take some food”
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Amazing views, take a picnic and the children soak up the atmosphere. Incredible venue to watch a play if you get the chance. Best in good weather as little shelter and do not expect a complete castle but a very atmospheric one.

Visited March 2012
Thank cornwallpink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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239 reviews from our community

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Truro, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
270 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Peaceful and relaxing”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

Visit Restormel quite a lot. It's set a little way out of Lostwithiel, the nearest town. Always peaceful and tranquil and you can really imagine how it used to be in years gone by.

Visited August 2012
Thank akay07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bodmin, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
Thank turpy81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
340 reviews
198 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 789 helpful votes
“Superb 12th century castle in w wonderful position”
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
2 Thank GBfromDevizes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2012

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

Visited September 2012
1 Thank gwiazda99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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