Devon - Castles
A guide to Devon, England, highlighting attractions, history, and visitor information.
This page Berry Pomeroy Castle - Totnes Castle
A romantic ruin in a secluded valley location. Berry Pomeroy was begun by the Pomeroy family in the 15th century. Within the castle defenses is an impressive Elizabethan manor built by the powerful Seymour family around the year 1560. The castle is entered through a massive gatehouse, which features a 15th century wall painting of the Three Kings. The manor was left to moulder after about 1700, but along the way it has collected a reputation as one of the most haunted ruins in England.
Dartmouth Castle stands at the entrance to the Dart Estuary and guards the approaches to the port of Dartmouth. The castle was built by John Hawley in 1388, Hawley was a swashbuckling character, part civic politician, part privateer, and the apparent model for Chaucer's 'Shipman' in The Canterbury Tales. Within the castle defenses is the church of St Petrox, and a Victorian 'Old Battery'.
Okehampton Castle was once the largest fortress in Devon, but it is now a picturesque - and apparently haunted - ruin set on a high ridge looking over the River Okement. The castle was built shortly after the Norman Conquest as a simple motte and bailey castle. A stone keep was added. In the 14th century the castle was converted by Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devon, into a more comfortable residence. Unfortunately, one of Hugh's descendents angered Henry VIII and fell from favour, so the castle was left to decay.
A remarkable range of architecture spanning 900 years of history, from medieval to modern, perched on a high cliff above the River Exe. Built on the orders of Henry I in 1106, and later besieged during the Civil War. Very hands-on and accessible; try on Civil War armour, or feel the weight of a cannonball. Within the old castle walls are a beautiful walled gardens, kitchen garden, woodlands, and an orchard.
Totes Castle was erected by Judhael of Brittany shortly after the Norman Conquest. Judhael used the classic early Norman design; a timber fortification atop a high motte, or mound, surrounded by a wide bailey enclosure. The original wooden fortress was replaced by a stone keep around 1219. William de la Zouche rebuilt Totnes Castle around 1326 AD, and it that 14th century fortification we see today.
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This cleric and scholar served as tutor to the young Princess Elizabeth, later Elizabeth I
He was secretary to the English ambassador at the court of Charles V, then Edward VI's secretary
His most famous work was Toxophilus (1545)
This Day in British History
23 September, 1326
Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer land at Orwell, Suffolk
Barons opposed to Isabella's husband, Edward II, join them in revolt. Edward is deposed and murdered.