A HISTORIC castle in Cornwall will be offering 'spooky' treats for brave trick-or-treaters over the Halloween weekend. 

English Heritage has announced today that St Mawes Castle will welcome members of the public to knock on its doors this Halloween weekend. Between Friday, October 28 and Tuesday, 31 (Halloween) trick-or-treaters brave enough to knock on the castle doors will receive a special Halloween treat.

In true medieval fashion, those who knock on the door will also be treated to a ‘Soul Cake’, a small round spice cake, made to celebrate and commemorate the dead.

Falmouth Packet: St Mawes Castle, Cornwall St Mawes Castle, Cornwall (Image: Stock)Dr Michael Carter, senior properties historian at English Heritage said: “I’m sure that many assume Halloween traditions are pure Americanisms, but in fact, we know that the traditions of Souls Cakes in the British Isles are very old indeed.

“Even in 1511, it is said ‘We read in old time good people would on All Halloween Day bake bread and deal it for Christian souls’.

"Of course, originally this tradition had great religious significance, and All Souls Day was one of the great holy days of medieval Europe, England included (and it remains an important holy day for some).

"It was a way of affirming the bonds between the living and the dead, the saying of prayers to release souls from the pains of purgatory, considered to be a great act of charity.

“But the popularity of the tradition even continues to the 20th century where groups of the poor, usually children, would go ‘souling’.

Falmouth Packet: The castle in St Mawes was constructed by Henry VIII between 1540 and 1542The castle in St Mawes was constructed by Henry VIII between 1540 and 1542 (Image: Stock)"Today’s trick-or-treating bears resemblance to that tradition of old, and I hope people will knock on our doors to try them – they’re inspired by history and perfect with a cup of tea!”

According to Wikipedia, St Mawes Castle is an artillery fort which was constructed by Henry VIII near Falmouth between 1540 and 1542. The castle featured elaborate 16th-century decorations including sea monsters and gargoyles and the historian Paul Pattison has previously described the site as “arguably the most perfect survivor of all Henry’s forts.”


For those interested in visiting St Mawes for a special Halloween treat this weekend, children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult, and the Trick or Treat sessions do not include entry to the sites or coinciding Halloween events.

To find out more, visit https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/st-mawes-castle/