MEDIA RELEASE
 

 
04.07.05
 

REFURBISHED ROYAL ARTILLERY BARRACKS AT PENDENNIS CASTLE OPEN

There are even more reasons to visit Pendennis Castle near Falmouth following the extensive refurbishment of the Royal Artillery Barracks by English Heritage. New attractions include an interactive exhibition that brings the castle to life, educational facilities for schools and a new hospitality suite.

Built between 1900 and 1902, the Barracks housed the 105th regiment of the Royal Garrison Artillery at the castle and in recent times was used as a youth hostel. It is now the venue for an exciting exhibition called 'Pendennis Unlocked – The story of Cornwall's Greatest Fortress'. This traces the history of the castle, the people who worked within its walls and its connections with the commercial port of Falmouth, the county of Cornwall and the trade routes of the British Empire.

A key feature of the exhibition is a large hands-on scale model of the castle, built by Henry VIII to defend Falmouth and its outlying defences, with an interactive lighting system designed to highlight the features of the site. Children will be able to step into the shoes of a soldier on kit inspection in his barrack room with the help of a special effects sound and mirror booth.

Speaking on behalf of English Heritage, Chairman Sir Neil Cossons, said: "There is even more for visitors to enjoy at Pendennis Castle. The refurbishment of the Royal Artillery Barracks has been a huge success and should benefit the whole community. The exhibition provides a fascinating insight into both the history of the castle and the port of Falmouth."

Sir Neil Cossons continued: "The superb educational suite will be a great asset to teachers and should delight school children. Together with the new conference and meeting facilities, Pendennis Castle is set to become one of the region's most impressive venues. The whole project has been made possible through the support of the European Union, European Regional Development Fund Objective One programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund."

The new education suite comprises two large education rooms of which one is furnished to reflect an original army barrack room, with scaled-down tables and chairs suitable for primary school children and a wet room for creative workshops. Up to 120 children can be accommodated at one time, allowing schools to bring an entire year group to the castle. Children can enjoy trying on period costumes and taking a virtual tour of the 'Keep'. Fully accessible, the education suite can be reached by lift and is fitted with induction loops. A special feature, courtesy of Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, is a computer with licences to enable educational groups to access a website to track and identify ships in Falmouth Harbour and around the world.

The new hospitality area is not only fully-equipped for conferences, but also an exceptional wedding venue, with the surrounding sea providing a stunning backdrop for that special occasion. Some 20 weddings have already been booked. Facilities include a room with a capacity of 100, syndicate rooms and a new commercial kitchen. A list of accredited caterers is available on request. The space is available for corporate hospitality and daytime meetings. A 10% discount is being offered for conference bookings made by the end of this month (July), for an event held before the end of the year.

For further information please contact Theo Wood, 0117 900 3558 or email: theo.wood@gnn.gsi.gov.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Pendennis Castle through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

 

Editors notes:

1. Pendennis Castle is situated 1 mile SE of Falmouth.
2. Opening times:
  Daily 24 Mar - 30 June 10am - 5pm;
  1 Jul - 31 Aug 10am - 6pm;
  1 - 30 Sept daily 10am - 5pm;
  Saturdays (24 Mar - 30 Sept) close at 4pm;
  1 Oct - 31 Mar 10am - 4pm;
  Closed 24 - 26 Dec and 1 Jan
3. Entry – adults £4.60; concs £3.50; child £2.30. Family tickets £11.50. English Heritage members FREE.
4. To book a free school visit to Pendennis Castle, call 0117 975 0720 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/education
5. To book a wedding or corporate event please call 01326 310106.
6. Funding was as follows:
  European Union (European Regional Development Fund: Objective One programme), administered by Government Office for the South West, £538,700
  Heritage Lottery Fund £55,000

 


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk