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St Catherine's Castle, Fowey

Categories: Castles, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web
St Catherine's Castle is a Henrician castle in Cornwall, built by Thomas Treffry between approximately 1538 and 1540, in response to fears of an invasion of England by France and the Holy Roman Empire. The D-shaped, stone fortification, equipped with five gun-ports for cannon, overlooked the mouth of the River Fowey in Cornwall. It was protected by a curtain wall and the surrounding cliffs. The castle remained in use for many years until it was closed at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Brought back into service in 1855 during the Crimean War, it was fitted with two new artillery positions, but it soon became obsolete and was abandoned. During the Second World War the castle was refortified and used to house a battery of naval guns, protecting the coast against the threat of German attack. At the end of the conflict the castle was restored to its previous condition and is now managed by English Heritage as a tourist attraction.HistoryConstructionSt Catherine's Castle was built as a consequence of the international tensions between England, France and the Holy Roman Empire in the final years of the reign of King Henry VIII. Traditionally the Crown had left coastal defences to the local lords and communities, only taking a modest role in building and maintaining fortifications, and while France and the Empire remained in conflict with one another, maritime raids were common but an actual invasion of England seemed unlikely. Modest defences, based around simple blockhouses and towers, existed in the south-west and along the Sussex coast, with a few more impressive works in the north of England, but in general the fortifications were very limited in scale.
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  • There are stunning views of the estuary and river from St Catherine's Castle and it is worth the walk from the centre of Fowey. 
  • We followed the coast path from Fowey past Readymoney Cove and then up the woods to the castle before continuing along the coast path. The castle is pretty with lovely views but would not go for just ...  read more »
  • Just a short stroll along the river passing Readymoney Cove (lovely) and you get to this place which isn't the best Castle (we are from Wales remember). Great views however to see the Fowey from a dif...  read more »
  • A nice little walk from Fowey or Readymoney. Could be better signposted, but great views across the rivermouth and out to sea.
  • A lovely walk from Fowey centre, through the National Trust's Covington Wood with acess to the coastal path. Beautiful.
  • Very poorly sign posted, and does not appear to be accessible by car.
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