An ambitious reinterpretation of Pendennis Castle brings fresh life to the historic fortress and launches in time for the Easter weekend.

Featuring imaginative new displays, a team of costumed volunteers, and the daily firing of a gun from the collection, Enemies on the Horizon tells stories from the long history of defence on the Cornish coast.

Throughout the castle grounds new interpretation takes visitors on a journey into Pendennis’ past - particularly Tudor and World War II. Alongside the new gun crew, a team of volunteers has been recruited to welcome visitors and bring fresh life to the historic site.

In the Castle Keep a team of Tudor gunners can be seen in action in immersive audio visual installations: tension rises as a ship is spotted on the horizon and the gunners get ready to fire their cannon. Visitors can join them on their race to the upper gun room before testing their own skill loading an interactive cannon.

The castle’s call to action in the World War II is the focus of installations in the Half Moon Battery and Battery Observation Post (BOP). Costumed volunteers will guide visitors through the tunnels of the Half Moon Battery, and straight into the drama of war as the big guns prepare to engage the enemy with high explosive munitions.

In wartime the BOP provided around the clock watch to help keep Falmouth safe, and it has now been given new interpretation, complete with 1940s décor, a depression position finder to calculate the location of ships at sea; ‘donkey-ear’ binoculars to give soldiers a close-up, three dimensional view of approaching ships; and authentic phones relay recorded messages to and from the Half Moon Battery.

Wendy Amer, property manager of Pendennis Castle, said: "This is a hugely exciting project for Pendennis. It doesn’t just re-tell the castle’s rich history – it encourages you to get involved. The interactive, hands-on, and immersive new interpretation means there is now more for families to see and do.

"The new volunteers are a brilliant, enthusiastic addition to the castle team. Offering costumed tours, daily gun firings, and a warm welcome to our visitors, they will really help bring the castle’s history to life.”

The project also shines a spotlight on the castle’s collection of historic guns. A highlight is the chance to see and hear a rare 12-pounder QF (quick-firing) gun in action with a crew in uniform of the Edwardian period, when two such guns were active at Pendennis.

Stationed on the castle’s East Bastion, the 12-pounder gun has been carefully conserved and restored – the breech mechanism has been replaced so that it can now fire blank charges, and a new replica steel shield has been reinstated. Dressed in authentic Edwardian uniform, a new volunteer gun crew has been recruited and trained to fire the historic gun.

A collection of Tudor, Napoleonic, Victorian and 20th-century guns have also been conserved and redisplayed in the Field Train Shed.

Enemies on the Horizon opens to the public on Good Friday. The castle celebrates the project over the Easter holidays with a special family event.

From Friday until April 15, Blast from the Past will transport visitors back in time to meet the Tudors. Hear muskets roar, take part in kids’ drills, and discover how the castle garrison defended the coast against enemies on the horizon.