Autumn mist above Restormel Castle in Cornwall
© Robert Harding/Alam
A circle of stone. The ruined beauty of Restormel Castle
Generations watched fog roll over the countryside here on England's south-west coast, long before the Norman invaders who built this fortress got the chance. Cornwall has been populated since the Mesolithic period 10,000 years ago, and is one of the traditional Celtic nations, areas of the British Isles and France where the Celts' culture survived Roman, Norman and other outside influences, despite repeated attacks.
Restormel Castle is one of the best-preserved of its era in the UK and is very distinctive thanks to its unusual circular shape. Built by the conquering Normans in the wake of their 1066 invasion, it was fortified as a perfect stone circle a hundred years later. Soon it was renovated into a luxurious palace with plumbing and hunting grounds. But after centuries of on-and-off use, it fell into disrepair after the English Civil War ended in 1651. It was acquired by the government in the early 20th century. Restormel is now managed by English Heritage and is open to the public, although numbers have been limited to allow for social distancing.