Totnes Castle is a typical example of a 'Motte and Bailey'
castle, and the earliest parts of the location date back to
1100. The mound upon which the castle sits is the oldest part
and was made from layers of earth, rock and clay that were
packed down onto a natural rock mound. The original castle
was built by the Normans at a point where three valley's meet
and where the River Dart could be clearly seen. The original
castle would have been timber fortifications, but in the 13th
century a stone shell keep was added to the top of the Motte,
or mound and a surrounding wall was built around the Bailey
below. This was common practice of the time. There was more
rebuilding done during the 14th century when the castle was
reconstructed, the entrance arch was rebuilt and the stairwells
were added within the walls. In later years further protection
in the way of a moat was added but this has since been filled
Totnes Castle is one of the few Shell-keep Motte and Bailey
castles to survive at full parapet height, and remains almost
complete. The original foundations for a square tower, possibly
the original wooden building, can still be seen. The original,
domestic buildings from within the Bailey wall have sadly
disappeared along with the Outer Bailey where farmland for
the castle would have been.
Totnes Castle currently has no paranormal stories attributed
to it. If you have had any unusual experiences whilst visiting
please do let us know!
Below are a selection of photographs that were taken during
Looking up the castle, perched highly upon the Motte for all
the town to see.
Walking up the stairs... nearly there now!
Whew, finally made it!
Inside the grounds of the castle you can see original stone
foundations for an original tower.
Looking down at the entranceway and the two stairwells that
take you up onto the ramparts.
Looking up the stairwell that takes you up onto the ramparts.
The view from the top of the castle is awe inspiring. This
is one view...
And this is the other. In the distance is the river Dart.
A photograph of St. Mary's Church from the top of the castle.
Along with the two stairwells, one other area was built into
the original stone wall. This was the... ahem... latrine.
Looking into the latrine room.
Looking down upon the Bailey and some of the surrounding outer
How to get there:
Totnes Castle is very easy to get to. Once you arrive in Totnes
and have parked walk up to the top area of the main street
and just up from where they have the market every week there's
a turning on the right that takes you straight to the entrance
to the castle. Follow the brown Castle roadsigns to find it.
OS: SX 800-605
Castle : The English Heritage page outlining visiting
times and costs.
Heritage Trail : A nice, detailed history of the castle.
Castle : The Wikipedia entry.