Castle an Dinas

Castle an Dinas

Ancient Hillfort

Two miles east of St. Columb Major


Castle associated with King Arthur

Castle an Dinas is an Iron Age hillfort covering about 20 acres at the summit of Castle Downs near St. Columb Major and is considered one of the most important hillforts in the southwest of Britain overlooking old trade routes through Cornwall. It dates from around 200 BC and consists of three ditch and rampart concentric rings, 850 feet above sea level giving extensive and panoramic views across central Cornwall to both north and south coasts.

Traditionally, Castle an Dinas is the hunting lodge of King Arthur, from which he rode in the Tregoss Moor hunt. A stone in St. Columb allegedly bears the four footprints of his horse made whilst hunting

In March 1646, during the English Civil War, Sir Ralph Hopton's Royalist troops camped for two nights within the rings of the fort. Here they held a Council of War where it was decided that they would surrender to the Parliamentarians. Only Hopton and Major-General Webb voted against. A few days later Hopton surrendered at Tresillian Bridge near Truro.

In 1671 a man called John Trehenban (1650–1671) of St. Columb Major, murdered two young girls and was sentenced to imprisonment in a cage on Castle an Dinas, and starved to death.

In 1904 a young woman, by the name Jessie Rickard, was murdered on the site by a jealous lover, he then took his own life.

From 1916 to 1957 it was the site of Cornwall's largest wolfram mine. Many of the old buildings and workings remain standing.

The Old Cornwall Society hold their traditional annual midsummer bonfires here on the highest point of the fort. This ceremony dates back to pre-Christian times to when Pagans would mark the Summer Solstice

This site is managed by Cornwall Heritage Trust and is accessible by public footpath across open ground from both the north and south.

Opening Times

All Year

Admission Free

Ancient Sites in Cornwall       St. Columb Major       Roche