Cornwall’s Must-Visit Historic Attractions
Published: Monday 2nd Dec 2019
Whether you are coming to Cornwall for a short break or a leisurely drawn-out holiday, you should definitely put time aside for visiting some of the county’s must-see historic attractions. Up there with the most intriguing in the world, you can dance to the music of time, Cornish-style.
To get started, check out our list of some of the most interesting historical sites in Cornwall, from Neolithic monuments to old tin mines:
Found in Morvah near Chun Castle, Chun Quoit is one of the most well-preserved Neolithic quoits in Cornwall. Thought to have once been surrounded by a mound, it is believed that the quoit was used for tribal rituals, religious ceremonies and possibly even burials. This dolmen is particularly impressive as it still retains its original capstone, set firmly in place over 4000 years after its conception.
Chysauster Ancient Village
Chysauster Ancient Village is a must-visit for any history buffs visiting Cornwall. A Romano-British settlement, it is one of the most extraordinary examples of its kind in the country. Nearly 2000 years old, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to retrace the footsteps of those who lived long ago and get a sense of what life would have looked like in this ancient village.
Perched on a headland at the mouth of the River Fal, Pendennis Castle was built as a coastal artillery fortress. Ordered by Henry VIII as part of a defensive strategy against the threat of a French invasion, the castle was later adapted during the Napoleonic Wars and later during the First and Second World Wars. Today, it invites visitors to find out all about its past, including the sights and sounds of battle.
Sat pretty amidst verdant countryside, the striking remains of the circular Restormel Castle are a formidable sight. Built in the 13th Century, this magnificent castle was once a luxurious retreat for the elite, visited twice by Edward, the Black Prince. As well as lapping up beautiful views across the valley and the River Fowey, you can also trace your way around the castle, visiting the Great Hall and completing the Wall Walk.
St Michael’s Mount
No matter how many times you’ve seen it, there is something truly remarkable about St Michael’s Mount. The site of a monastery between the 8th and the 11th Centuries, there is actually evidence of people living in the area as early as 4000BC. Take time to visit the castle (which has been in the St Aubyn family since 1650) and put your ear to the ground, listening out for the slap of pilgrim’s feet, the thud of soldier’s boots, the chant of monks and the beating heart of a giant…
Think Tintagel, think King Arthur. Awash with history and legend, this magical castle on Cornwall’s north coast has roots dating back to the 13th Century. Weave your way around the castle and make sure you cross the incredible new footbridge, which has seen the two separated halves of the castle joined together for the first time in more than 500 years.
Wheal Coates Tin Mine
Inextricably linked with Cornish culture and heritage, mining in Cornwall began in the Bronze Age. Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the dramatic ruins of Wheal Coates Tin Mine sit amidst heather and gorse-strewn cliffs that tumble down to the sea. Come along with your camera to capture the scene and bask in the setting, absorb the history and listen to the churning of waves.
Browse holiday cottages near these stunning places here