Devon

Totnes Castle, Totnes

This English Heritage site is a wonderful location to explore and experience Totnes’ unique history as a Saxon Town, whilst enjoying the pretty Devonian countryside surroundings.

Totnes Castle is a true vision and an historical insight into the Saxon town that the delectable market town of Totnes used to be. The ruins of the castle can be found high above the town – climb the steps to this impressive landmark to see exceptional views over the rooftops of Totnes over as far to the River Darts. 

The castle itself is a traditional and stunning motte and bailey made from an earthwork and timber construction. Its shell-keep was originally built as the crown in 13th century and though has been worked on since, still holds its historical beauty and features. From the stone shell-keep, you can enjoy one of the best vantage points to take in beautiful and sweeping views of Totnes. When exploring this circular structure, you can even see defensive arrow slits and battlements; the shell-keep is one of the best preserved of its kind in the whole of Devon.

As well as its entrancing stonework, the castle also has a lovely courtyard and bailey with sheltered grassy areas which are perfect for lazy picnics and for the children to run free in. There are even benches and picnic tables to enjoy in the sunshine and being dog-friendly, the entire family can enjoy a relaxing afternoon under the 150-year-old oak trees. Stretch your legs and see more of the countryside on the pretty Moat Walk just outside the castle walls. You can view the steep ditch and outer bank which was original used for the castle’s defences. Nowadays the area is bursting with life, wild flowers and an array of lush plants, making it a great spot for wildlife enthusiasts and nature photographers.

Whether you wish to explore Totnes Castle’s interesting Saxon history or are wanting to spend a day with the family in the pretty surroundings, this is not an English Heritage site to miss when you’re in Totnes.

Feeling inspired? Have a look at our luxury cottages in and around Totnes here.

Totnes Castle, Castle Street, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5NU | 0370 333 1181 | www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/totnes-castle

Photography © David Harper

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