Castles Of England
Articles View Hits

Powderham Castle

Visited May 2016

Location Kenton, Devon
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby Starcross- 2 miles
Parking Yes 
Facilities Shop, Cafe, Toilets


Powderham Castle is one of those rare castles which has remained in the same family since it was built. Started in 1391 by the Courtenay family, it remains to this day in their ownership. The Courtenays also owned Okehampton Castle  and Tiverton Castle at one time, so they were one of the most influential families in Devon. The current owners of the castle are the Earl & Countess of Devon, and Powderham is now a large scale visitor attraction, as well as their family home.






On first entering the castle driveway the visitor will find a small shopping area, with several gift shops, a large cafe and a very good garden centre owned by TV gardener Toby Buckland. These shops open at 9am, so if you arrive early you can park up and do a bit of shopping and have some refreshments in the cafe before going on to the castle.


The castle is open for guided tours from 11am onwards, we ended up with the tour to ourselves as it was not very busy on the day we visited.This was good as it was then tailored to our age group, for example the children were asked to keep an eye out for doors to the secret passages found in the castle. The guides was very well informed and we saw a selection of rooms in the castle. No photography allowed though so we can't show you the interior.






As well as the actual castle, plus the chapel and rose garden, there is a Belvedere or folly castle in the grounds which is well worth the walk up the hill. It sits on a wonderful vantage point with views over the Exe estuary. It was built in 1773 and at one time had two floors but was gutted by fire and so today is an attractive ruin. It was lovely and quiet up at the top of the hill- the walk to the top is steep in places but takes you through beautiful woodland. 





Children are also well catered for at Powderham. There is a large play area in the walled garden, with a play fort, zip wire and ride -on cars. Also in the walled garden is the pets corner, with chickens, ducks, pigs, tortoises, chipmunks and even stick insects! The castle also puts on some themed children's events during the school holidays, on the day we were there is was  an Alice in Wonderland theme with a Mad Hatter's Tea Party. It seemed very popular with all the children.


To round off your day it is possible to take a tractor safari around the large and impressive deer park, to get close up to the herd of deer that live in the castle grounds. The safari takes you to right up to the banks of the river Exe, which affords some fantastic views of the castle, as well as the deer of course!





More info:  Powderham Castle

Featured Pics
Build A Castle