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Pendennis peninsula fortifications

A Scheduled Monument in Falmouth, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1468 / 50°8'48"N

Longitude: -5.0471 / 5°2'49"W

OS Eastings: 182397.60647

OS Northings: 31864.102709

OS Grid: SW823318

Mapcode National: GBR ZG.4X0J

Mapcode Global: FRA 089M.RJT

Entry Name: Pendennis peninsula fortifications

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 26 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012134

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10552

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Falmouth

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Budock

Church of England Diocese: Truro


Pendennis peninsula projects south-eastwards into Falmouth Bay and, with St
Anthony's Head and St Mawes, guards the entrance to the Carrick Roads, a
large natural anchorage with a long and distinguished commercial and naval
history. The headland incorporates numerous important defensive structures
dating from the Prehistoric period to the 20th century, having been in
continuous military occupation from the 16th century onwards. Remains include
the probable site of an Iron Age cliff castle; an Early Tudor artillery fort
(SW82433178), with tower, chemise and Governor's lodging, and a blockhouse,
Little Dennis, at the waterline (SW82743154). The fort and blockhouse were
developed in the reign of Elizabeth I (SW82383187) and added to in the 17th,
18th and 19th centuries. They are both Listed Grade I. There is also a half
moon battery, built in the early 19th century and modified in the 20th
century, a system of Civil War defences in the form of hornworks and other
lines extending from the castle (SW82253206) and a forward defence at Upton's
Mount (SW82003228), as well as batteries at Crab Quay (SW82633170) and Little
Dennis. 19th century works include additions at Crab Quay battery and Middle
Point battery (SW82623181) and generator rooms and stores on the east side
(SW82563179), associated with the use of mines in the estuary. In the 20th
century a pre-First World War main barrack block, water tower (SW82083216)and
forward observation post (SW82083223) were built; batteries were upgraded and
zig-zag slit trenches (SW81943227) were dug during the two World Wars. The
extensive garrison garden on the south-western side of the headland was
developed into a pleasure garden complex in the 19th century (SW82243183)
Castle Drive, its associated carpark and visitor area, the road to the
fort from the north-west, an area of private housing and quay on the north-
east side of the headland (SW82503210), the above ground parts of the modern
electricity sub-station within the hornworks, and the coastguard station are
excluded from the scheduling as are the barracks and stores, however the
ground beneath all these modern standing buildings is included in the
scheduling. The 20th century forward observation post has now been demolished
and is not included in the scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

This is one of the finest examples of a post-medieval defensive promontory
fort in the country. Pendennis was developed as a strategic naval base from
its foundation in the 1540's, until it was demilitarised in the 1950's. The
buildings of the Henrician and Elizabethan castle demonstrate developing
gunnery methods, as do the batteries. The Civil War defences incorporating
hornworks and a redoubt, are prominent and Pendennis had particular
significance as a staunch Royalist stronghold, besieged in 1646, and as an
important Royalist port throughout the Civil War. The 18th, 19th and 20th
century works illustrate important changes in weaponry and defences and in
barrack accommodation and domestic use of the grounds. Pendennis, a major
naval base for over 400 years, demonstrates the development of coastal
defence from Tudor to modern times and having been de-commissioned in the
mid-twentieth century, has not suffered losses due to recent demolition or

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Morley, B, The Castles of Pendennis and St Mawes, (1988), 2-14
Project proposals in file, Cornwall Archaeological Unit, Pendennis Project proposals,
Project proposals in file, Cornwall Archaeological Unit, The Pendennis Project,
SMR 18709.21 and .22,
SMR 18709.23,
SMR 18709.31,
SMR 18709.41,
SMR 18709.43,
SMR 18709.53,
SMR 18709.55,
SMR 18709.76, .73, .77, .86, .71,
SMR 18709.82,
SMR 18709.85,

Source: Historic England

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