History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Judhael did not have long to enjoy his new estates, however, for he supported Robert of Normandy against his brother William II, and Totnes had his estates seized by the victorious William, who granted them to Roger de Nonant. When William's brother Henry took the throne as Henry I he did not return the estates at Totnes, but kept them in crown control.
In 1196 Totnes was granted to the powerful de Braose family, and it was probably Reginald de Braose who replaced the timber fort with a stone shell keep around 1219. The de Braose owners ceded to another powerful Norman family, the Cantilupes, around 1230.
The castle finally passed to the de la Zouche (Zouch) family in 1273. The Zouches were based in the Midlands (see Ashby de la Zouch Castle) and seldom visited Totnes, but the castle seems to have been kept in a reasonable state of repair until the 16th century.
English Heritage have produced a very good guide to the castle for children, full of interesting historical anecdotes and games designed to teach children about the castle in a painless way. My own daughter at age 4 was fascinated by the guide and kept asking for it to be read to her, many months after our visit to Totnes.
About Totnes Castle
Address: Castle Street, Totnes, Devon, England, TQ9 5NU
Attraction Type: Castle
Website: Totnes Castle
Phone: 01803 864 406
English Heritage - see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
OS: SX801 605
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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