Aside from it’s beautiful, rugged coastline and red cliffs Devon is home to some very impressive Castles:
Dartmouth Castle – The most striking feature of Dartmouth Castle is that it stands tall right on the banks of the Dart Estuary – a stunning waterside setting. Dartmouth Castle was initially built in the 14th Century, but underwent substantial works in the 15th Century when Henry VIII had it redesigned to be able to better fit his weaponry.
Close to Dartmouth Castle is Kingswear Castle and St Petroc’s Church. Given the beautiful setting (right at the mouth of the Dart Estuary), Dartmouth Castle is well worth a visit – not just to marvel at the history but to enjoy the awesome scenery and perhaps enjoy a picnic. It’s possible to arrive in style via Ferry – taking in the lovely views available from the River Dart along the way.
Totnes Castle – On top of the charming little Devon town of Totnes stands the Norman fortress of Totnes Castle. The views from the top of the castle are outstanding, offering panorama of the entire town and River Dart.
The castle itself was thought to have been built sometime in the 10th Century.
After visiting the castle be sure to enjoy a stroll along the steep, narrow town lanes – they offer a festival of perky shops and some pleasant eateries.
Okehampton Castle – These castle ruins, set at the foothills of Dartmoor, were the medieval home of the Earls of Devon. The Castle offers a free audio tour and after enjoying the stroll around the castle grounds (including the chapel, gatehouse and priests lodgings) you can take in a pleasant woodland walk or relax by the riverside picnic area.
The castle itself dates as far back as the 11th Century.
A highly fascinating side-note – it’s thought that the castle is haunted so be sure not to wander around by yourself once the sun sets!
Berry Pomeroy Castle – About two miles east of Totnes is this former dwelling of the Seymour and Pomeroy families. The castle and Elizabethan mansion was initially built in the 15th Century and underwent expansion towards the end of the 17th Century. This is another castle that is thought to be haunted!
Devon, Compton Castle, photo by Smalljim