Castle Cornet

Guernsey, United Kingdom

Formerly a tidal island, Cornet Rock was first fortified as a castle between 1206 and 1256, following the division of the Duchy of Normandy in 1204. In 1339 when a French force captured the island and occupied it for several years, Cornet was besieged and captured, and the garrison massacred. With the advent of cannon and gunpowder, the castle was remodelled between 1545 and 1548. Prof. John Le Patourel, in The Building of Castle Cornet mentions that in 1566, iron and hammers were taken to 'Creavissham' (i.e. Crevichon), and that island quarried for the castle.

Castle Cornet served as official residence of the Governor of Guernsey until 1672 when the keep was catastrophically destroyed. A bolt of lightning struck the magazine of the castle, destroying the keep and a number of living quarters. The Governor at the time was Lord Hatton. His mother, wife and a number of members of staff were killed in the explosion. It became integrated into the breakwater after the period of the Napoleonic Wars. Along the breakwater, a pond for toy yachts was constructed in 1887 for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, which served as a seaplane base during World War I. In World War II, it became occupied by a small group of German troops. It was presented to the people of Guernsey in 1945 by the Crown.

The castle incorporates today several museums, like castle museum, maritime museum and Royal Guernsey Militia museum.



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Founded: 1206-1256
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Stewart Taylor (4 months ago)
Nice bit of history mainly for people who are interested in it. There are things for younger kids to do like finding the images that are scattered around and they will get a sticker at the end. I would recommend sticking round for the mid day firing of the cannon. Just to warn you it is really loud. On site cafe is really nice. One thing I would say though is if you are visiting be prepared to walk up a lot of stairs and they are uneven.
Phil Oakland (4 months ago)
A really worthwhile visit for the £11 entry fee. Make sure you time your visit to be at the noon firing of the cannon but be prepared for the loud bang! Plenty of interesting military museums located throughout the castle as well.
Courtney-Jade de Jongh (5 months ago)
I went by myself and had an absolutely fantastic time, there's loads of extra activities to keep kids busy so this would be a phenomenal day out for the family. There are several museums on site that cover everything from the history of the castle to Guernsey's military involvement so there's something for everyone, and the gardens are splendid with a fantastic view of Guernsey. I spent hours there and would recommend it to anyone!
Kerry Kelly (5 months ago)
Interesting fort close to the town. We were here on a cruise stop, and the fort is very close to the tender. Noon day gun definitely worth watching. Nice cake!
Nicky Fletcher (6 months ago)
Really interesting place to go and if you time it right it's worth listening to the micro history reenactments that are on around midday. There's lots to see and read about and plenty of places to sit and either enjoy the views or just people watch. The entrance fee is reasonable as well at £11 per adult. Wear comfy shoes and visit the cafe... The carrot cake and lemon cake are lovely ??
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