Cadbury Castle Hillfort, Devon
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The site was probably used during the Saxon period as a moot, or open-air court for administering the local area.
The Cadbury DragonA ancient legend says that a dragon guards a treasure on Cadbury Hill. The Cadbury Dragon is said to fly between Cadbury and Dolbury Hill at Killerton. It also is said to defend the Fursdon family of nearby Fursdon House, and protect the family in times of need.
Another legend suggests that Cadbury is King Arthur's Camelot, and that the king and his knights lie asleep within the hill. Another version of the legend says that King Arthur leads his knights on midnight hunts over the nearby hills at certain times of the year. This legend is more often applied to Cadbury hillfort in Somerset, so it is possible that references to Devon may be confusing the two sites.
VisitingAs you turn off the A3072 into Cadbury village there is a green sign saying 'Footpath to Cadbury Castle'. That's rather misleading, for the footpath does not start at the intersection but almost 1km further on, past the parish church. In theory there's a parking area at the start of the path, at the top of Milk Hill. A signpost indicates parking but I drove a good mile trying to find it and gave up. I ended up parking outside the church, which was only a 5 minute stroll from the start of the path. The well-marked trail leads steeply uphill for 5 minutes before levelling out somewhat.
You pass through a deeply wooded track before emerging beside a farm field. You then pass through a gate and find yourself at the outer earthwork. It takes no more than 10 minutes from the base of the hill to the hillfort. There are no signs or information panels that I could find, but the shape of the earthworks are easy to make out. A track leads along the top of the outer earthwork bank, and gives a good view of the wide ditch and inner earthwork. When I visited a herd of sheep were peacefully browsing in the centre of the fort.
The best view of the earthworks are from the west side, where the banks are at their highest. On this side the views over the valley below are amazing. It is no wonder that the inhabitants chose this hilltop site, for they would have seen over all the surrounding area with ease.
About Cadbury Castle
Address: Cadbury, Devon, England, EX5 5JZ
Attraction Type: Prehistoric Site
Location: Access is by a signposted footpath just south east of the church in Cadbury, off the A3072, at the top of Milk Hill.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Cadbury, St Michael's Church - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Fursdon - 0.7 miles (Historic House)
Cadeleigh, St Bartholomew's Church - 1.7 miles (Historic Church)
Shobrooke Park - 4.3 miles (Garden)
Upton Hellions, St Mary's Church - 4.6 miles (Historic Church)
Upton Pyne, Church of Our Lady - 4.7 miles (Historic Church)
Cruwys Morchard, Holy Cross Church - 4.9 miles (Historic Church)
Newton St Cyres, St Cyr and St Julitta's Church - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Cadbury Castle:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Tourist Information Service
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life
Tel: 01884 230 878