Pendennis Castle, Falmouth. 1.

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G Lokey on July 20, 2012

This is one of Henry VIIIs Device Forts or Henrician Castles built in 1539 to guard the entrance to the River Tal on its west bank near Falmouth. St Mawes is its opposite number on the east bank and they were built to defend Carrick Roads from the French and Spanish threats of future attack. The castle comprises a single round tower and gate enclosed by a lower curtain wall. It was built alongside a series of forts running along the southwest coast of Britain running from Hull to Milford Haven. This was in response to the threat of invasion to Henry VIII from the French and Spanish because Henry VIII had changed the religion of England to Church of England so he could get a divorce, money and more power over his country. The pope had asked the French and Spanish, who both had strong armies, to invade England to perform a restoration on the country's religion. Henry knew the two countries knew the area as when the French and Spanish had had a war a couple of years before they had fought in the Carrick Roads and so they knew it was unguarded and so Henry thought this was where the enemy would attack from. Like St Mawes Castle Pendennis Castle had a role in the English Civil War being the last Royalist position in the West of England, St Mawes having already surrendered to the Parliamentary Forces. Pendennis withstood a five-month siege before surrendering. Crab Quay lies beneath the castle on the northeast face of the headland and being the most suitable place for a landing a battery was built here in the late 17th or early 18th century. The early armament is unknown but in 1815 five 18-pounder guns were mounted and in 1855 it was upgraded to five 32-pounders and by 1880 these had been replaced by two 64-pounder rifled muzzled-loaders. In 1898 the battery was reconstructed to provide two concrete emplacements for a pair of 6-pounder quick-firing guns which together with a sister battery at St Mawes would prevent fast moving torpedo boats evading the heavier guns and entering the Carrick Roads although these were removed in 1904. The battery was briefly rearmed around 1942 with two 3-pounder QF guns but were removed by 1943. Five "D" shaped concrete platforms just above the water level below Crab Quay were foundations for the searchlights supporting the Middle Point Battery and all surface structures belonging to the Middle Point were demolished in the 1960s. So there!

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 18, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by G Lokey
    • Camera: SONY DSC-HX9V
    • Taken on 2012/07/11 13:34:23
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 5.94mm
    • F/Stop: f/3.500
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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