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Discover Devon’s Top 11 Castles: A Journey Through History and Heritage

Devon, a county rich in history and natural beauty, offers an array of experiences for those exploring its landscape.

From family air tents dotting the scenic camping sites to the majestic castles that stand as testaments to a bygone era, Devon is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Here, we delve into the top 11 castles in Devon, each a unique landmark with stories to tell.

Berry Pomeroy Castle:

Nestled in a picturesque valley, Berry Pomeroy Castle is famed for its romantic ruins and haunting legends.

Built in the late 15th century, it was intended to be a grand mansion but was never completed.

Today, its ruins offer a glimpse into the past, surrounded by dense woodlands that add to its mysterious allure.

The castle’s tales of ghosts and spirits captivate visitors, making it a must-visit for those intrigued by the supernatural.

Okehampton Castle:

Once Devon’s largest castle, the ruins of Okehampton Castle sit majestically above the River Okement.

This motte and bailey castle, with its stone keep, has a history steeped in intrigue and ghostly tales.

The surrounding area, rich in wildlife and natural beauty, makes it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts.

Castle Drogo:

Perched above the Teign Gorge, Castle Drogo is the last castle built in England.

Designed by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, it combines medieval architecture with modern comforts.

The castle offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and an insight into early 20th-century life.

Watermouth Castle:

This Victorian-era castle near Ilfracombe is a blend of history and entertainment.

Watermouth Castle houses a fascinating collection of Victorian artifacts and doubles as a family-friendly theme park, complete with dungeons, mazes, and outdoor rides.

Dartmouth Castle:

Strategically located at the mouth of the Dart Estuary, Dartmouth Castle has been an important defensive fortification since the 14th century.

The castle offers panoramic views of the estuary and the sea, and its rich history is evident in its well-preserved structures.

Totnes Castle:

Overlooking the town of Totnes, this Norman motte and bailey castle offers breathtaking views of the River Dart.

The castle’s history is palpable in its ancient walls, and the site is ideal for picnics and leisurely walks.

Powderham Castle:

Situated beside the River Exe, Powderham Castle is a stunning example of a medieval fortress turned family home.

The castle, dating back to 1391, is still inhabited by the Courtenay family and offers guided tours that reveal its fascinating history and beautiful interiors.

Lydford Castle:

This 13th-century tower, once a notorious prison, stands in the historic town of Lydford.

The castle’s grim past as a center of law and order in medieval Devon is a stark contrast to the peaceful beauty of its surroundings.

Compton Castle:

A charming manor house in the Devon countryside, Compton Castle has been the home of the Gilbert family for centuries.

The castle features a mix of medieval and Renaissance architecture, with beautiful gardens and a chapel that are open to the public.

Dunster Castle:

Although just outside Devon in Somerset, Dunster Castle’s proximity to the Devon border makes it a noteworthy inclusion.

This ancient castle, perched on a tor, offers stunning views and a rich tapestry of history, from its Norman beginnings to its transformation into a luxurious country home.

Tiverton Castle:

Overlooking the River Exe, Tiverton Castle’s origins date back to 1106.

The castle has undergone numerous transformations over the centuries, reflecting the changing styles and tastes of its various owners.

Today, its gardens and ruins are a peaceful retreat, offering a glimpse into Devon’s storied past.

Each of these castles in Devon presents a unique journey through time, offering insights into the county’s rich heritage.

Whether you’re camping under the stars in Devon’s lush countryside or exploring its historic sites, these castles are sure to enrich your experience with their timeless charm and fascinating stories.



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