Monday, May 7, 2012

Falmouth

Falmouth was one of the last places we visited on our trip to
Cornwall.

The Cornish word for Falmouth is Aberfal.

Together with Carrick Roads it forms the third deepest harbour in the world, so I am told.  Quite a feat when you think of the length of coastline around the world.

Because of the harbour and the estuary it has always been an important port in the defense of the country, hence the twin castles built in the 1540's on the headlands on either side of the entrance to the harbour. 

Of interest to me was the role of these defenses between 1807 and 1813 when Falmouth acted as a re-supply base for the British Army while at war with France in Spain and Portugal .   We visited Pendennis.  The castle was modified during later wars so one has to pick and choose what is relevant to our time.



This shot shows the gun battery as in the 1730's overlooking Carrick Roads.  In the foreground is the field train shed, and is the remaining half of an original structure build in 1805 for a field train of mobile guns, wagons, gun carriages, wheels and baggage, stored until needed

The tower itself was built as a gun tower, with guns to be fired on all three levels. By our time, the tower was used for living space, with the guns outside, and on the roof. The small round tower on the very top being a look out turret.


There were many changes made to the castle during the Napoleonic wars which were changed again in the late nineteen early twentieth century.  In particular a half moon battery was placed just outside the Elizabethan fortress with a command of the sea.  At the height of the war, Pendennis was defended by 22  24-pounder cannon, 14 18-Pounders and 12 carronades.  Meanwhile Falmouth along with Plymouth formed the main supply depots for the British Army. During this time, mail packet ships were armed with cannon. Many building went up at Pendennis, including barracks and a hospital.

Here is a video of what the gun platform might have looked and sounded like in the castle's earliest days.

video
So that last is just a bit of fun, if it doesn't interest you pass on by.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

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