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Berry Pomeroy Castle

Visited May 2014

Location Berry Pomeroy, Devon
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes
Facilities Café, Gift Shop, Toilets
Map

 

This castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted in England, with several ghosts associated with the site, including the White Lady who apparently haunts one of the towers. However, on the late spring day of our visit everything seemed totally as it should be, and the castle in its woodland setting seemed perfectly tranquil in the hazy sun.

 


 

 


Review

 

The castle was built by the Pomeroy family during the Wars of the Roses. The castle had some advanced features such as gun loops, the like of which were not seen anywhere else in England at the time. It was built as a strong defensive castle as the situation in Devon was lawless and turbulent at the time. However, it appeared that the original castle saw no real military action to test its defences. The main survivors from this era are the gatehouse, parts of the curtain wall and St Margaret's tower which contained the gun loops. The gatehouse has been re-roofed and up on the first floor there is a fine wall painting, dating to about 1490. The gatehouse also contained the winding equipment for the portcullis.

 

 

By 1547 the Pomeroy family were bankrupt, and the castle was sold to the Seymour family, at the time powerful as Edward Seymour was the uncle and Lord Protector of King Edward VI, Henry VIII's only son.  The Seymour family began a rebuild of the castle, creating a grand, fortified manor within the walls of the old castle. The buildings were subsequently extended and rebuilt on a larger and grander scale several times over, until finally the Seymours too ran out of money, and the house was abandoned, unfinished.

 

 

 


 

 


 

The castle today is probably best described as a 'romantic ruin', a once grand house neglected and left to decay. It is beautifully situated in wooded surroundings which adds to the mystery and romance of the place. There are remains of the medieval castle, but also the later Tudor house with its stunning array of windows. There is no doubt that Berry Pomeroy would have been a spectacular building in its heyday, and the ruins are still impressive now.

 


 

 


 

As well as plenty of space for walking, there are some pleasant spots for picnics in the vicinity of the castle. Alternatively there is a very good café just outside the castle, with good food and friendly service.   A covered terrace provides an all-weather vantage point to sit and watch for ghosts of white ladies, or whoever else that may come by.

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

More info: English Heritage Berry Pomeroy Castle

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