OS Grid ref:- SX 104614
Restormel Castle dramatically bestrides a hill top overlooking the River Fowey around a mile to the north of Lostwithiel and 9 miles north east of St. Austell.
The castle was founded by Robert, Count of Mortain, the half brother of William the Conqueror. It occupies the site of an earlier wooden Norman fort. . Little evidence remains of the earlier fort, but masonry of a very early date may be seen at the base of the Gate Tower.
The stone structure we see today dates from around 1200. The nearly circular, battlemented keep is surrounded by a deep, wide defensive moat. the barbican and towers were added in the following century. The Great Hall, the kitchens and other rooms are still clearly discernable.The castle was entered over a drawbridge, and there is some evidence to suggest that there was once a further drawbridge within the square Gate Tower.
A well chamber which is located in the courtyard once provided the castle with its water supply, but there was an additional source, supplied by a spring, situated on the higher ground outside the castle.
The views of the surrounding landscape from the upper sections of the castle walls are superb.
The internal buildings were replaced in stone by Edmund Plantagenet, Earl of Cornwall, grandson of Henry III, in the latter part of the thirteenth century. He constructed domestic buildings and barracks and provided a chapel alongside the castle to the east, in the course of adding the chapel a wide archway was cut through the the Keep which led to to a rectangular projection. built specifically for that purpose. Little of this remains today.
Restormel was once home to the famous Edward, the Black Prince, who, as eldest son of King Edward III, was also Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall. He covered himself in glory during the Hundred Years War with the French and became the hero of the battles of Crecy and Poiters. The Black Prince visited and occupied Restormel Castle in 1354 and in 1365.
The castle saw action in in 1644, when Royalist forces drove out a Parliamentary garrison which had occupied Restormel during the Civil War.
Restormel Castle is now in the care of English Heritage.