Skip to content

10 Best English Heritage places in Devon

english heritage

Discover the best English Heritage places in Devon to visit

English Heritage have some fantastic places to visit in Devon. This article will explore the best English Heritage places in Devon, where history comes alive amidst stunning landscapes. From ancient castles to majestic gardens, Devon offers a treasure trove of historical sites that showcase the rich tapestry of England’s past.

Discover the meticulously preserved landmarks that whisper tales of bygone eras, inviting visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in the charm and grandeur of centuries past.

These places are all excellent and are not in any particular order!

cshow

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Berry Pomeroy Castle stands as a dramatic ruin with a colourful history dating back to the Elizabethan era. Once intended to be one of the most spectacular mansions in England, the castle was never completed, adding an air of mystery to its enchanting surroundings. Visitors can explore the ruins of the great Elizabethan mansion within the 15th-century defenses of Pomeroy Castle, listen to ghost stories through guided tours, and wander through the surrounding woodland and stunning grounds, immersing themselves in centuries-old tales of ambition and abandonment


Dartmouth Castle

dartmouth castle

Situated in Dartmouth overlooking the Dart Estuary, Dartmouth Castle has stood for over 600 years as a formidable fortress guarding the town from invasion. This historic site offers visitors breathtaking views of the coastline, early-medieval remains, and a glimpse into its rich maritime past. With gun emplacements, ammunition stores to explore, and panoramic views of Dartmouth and the English Channel from its roof, Dartmouth Castle provides an immersive experience into centuries of coastal defense and seafaring heritage. This classic day trip is certainly one of the best English Heritage places in Devon.


Lydford Castle and Saxon Town

lydford castle and saxon town

Nestled in Lydford village on the edge of Dartmoor, Lydford Castle and Saxon Town present a unique blend of Norman fortifications and Saxon history. This free-to-enter English Heritage site features an imposing Norman Fort alongside remnants of a Saxon settlement. Visitors can wander through the ancient grounds, learn about its historical significance as a former prison, and explore the nearby village to transport themselves back in time amidst the rugged beauty of Dartmoor


Okehampton Castle

okehampton castle

Situated on the northern edge of Dartmoor, Okehampton Castle is a medieval ruin that offers a glimpse into the turbulent history of Devon. Originally built as a motte and bailey castle in the late 11th century, it later evolved into a lavish residence before falling into disrepair during the Civil War. Visitors can explore the atmospheric ruins, including the keep, gatehouse, and chapel, while enjoying panoramic views of Dartmoor National Park. We certainly rate Okehampton Castle as one of the best English Heritage places in Devon. The castle’s rich history is brought to life through interactive exhibits and guided tours, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the stories of its former inhabitants and the events that shaped its destiny.


Totnes Castle

totnes

Overlooking the historic market town of Totnes, Totnes Castle is a well-preserved motte-and-bailey fortress dating back to the Norman Conquest. This strategically positioned castle offers commanding views of the town and River Dart, showcasing its importance as a defensive stronghold in medieval times. Visitors can explore the keep, curtain walls, and towers while learning about its role in local history through informative displays and audio guides. With its picturesque setting and fascinating heritage, Totnes Castle provides a captivating journey through centuries of military architecture and regional significance.


Kirkham House

kirkham house interior

Located in Paignton, Kirkham House is a well-preserved medieval house believed to have belonged to a prosperous landowner or merchant. Built from local stone, this historic site offers visitors a glimpse into the lifestyle of the medieval elite. The grand hall, with space for communal dining, features a fine arched oak doorway, providing a window into the architectural style of the period. While exploring this free-entry site, visitors can appreciate the craftsmanship of the era and imagine life in a medieval household.


Grimspound

grimspound

Situated in Postbridge, Grimspound is an ancient settlement on Dartmoor that dates back to the Bronze Age. This prehistoric site features 24 ruined round houses and a large boundary circle, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the lives of ancient inhabitants thousands of years ago. Accessible via country walks with great views from nearby Hookney Tour or Hameldown, Grimspound provides an immersive experience for those interested in archaeology and ancient history. Visitors should note that Grimspound is situated on uneven ground and should be accessed by those who are stable on their feet


Hound Tor Medieval Village

hound tor medieval village

Located near Manaton, Hound Tor is a deserted medieval village nestled amidst the rugged landscape of Dartmoor National Park. This historic site offers visitors the opportunity to explore the remnants of a medieval settlement, including stone foundations and building outlines that hint at its former inhabitants’ way of life. With its tranquil surroundings and archaeological significance, Hound Tor provides a fascinating window into Devon’s medieval past and invites visitors to wander through history amidst the picturesque moorland scenery.


Blackbury Camp

blackbury camp autumn

Blackbury Camp, also known as Blackbury Castle, is an Iron Age hill fort managed by English Heritage. Situated southwest of Southleigh, in East Devon, it overlooks valleys formed by River Coly tributaries at an elevation of 185m above sea level. The oval enclosure features a rampart 3m high and up to 10m wide, constructed from clay and flint quarried from an outer ditch.

The site’s entrance on the south side includes remnants of wooden gates and a possible gate-tower. Excavations in the 1950s revealed evidence of a wooden palisade and a hut within the enclosure. The camp’s purpose remains debated, with theories suggesting it served as a community centre or a defended homestead for affluent individuals. Artifacts found on-site indicate activities like wool working and metal smelting. Blackbury Camp’s history spans from the Late Neolithic/Bronze Age to the Middle Iron Age (300-100 BC), suggesting prolonged occupation.

Today, visitors can explore the impressive earthworks, ramparts, and unique entrance structure that hint at the site’s ancient past.


Bayard’s Cove Fort

bayards cove fort - best english heritage places in devon

Bayard’s Cove Fort, located in Dartmouth, is a Tudor fortification constructed between 1522 and 1536 by the borough of Dartmouth. This historic site was designed to protect the prosperous harbour town from potential attacks, serving as the last line of defence against enemy ships that managed to bypass Dartmouth and Kingswear castles. The fort housed heavy guns and cannons strategically positioned to safeguard the town and its inhabitants.

Occupying a picturesque terrace carved from the rocky riverbank, Bayard’s Cove Fort offers visitors a glimpse into its military past and the strategic importance it held in safeguarding Dartmouth. The fort is freely accessible during daylight hours and provides a unique opportunity to explore Tudor-era defences while enjoying panoramic views of Dartmouth harbour.

Visitors can reach the fort via the South-West coast path, either down steps from Southtown or Bayard’s Cove Road. Nearby facilities in Dartmouth town offer amenities such as toilets, eateries, and parking within a short walking distance from the fort.

Joining English Heritage

cshow

Joining English Heritage offers an immersive journey through the rich tapestry of British history. Membership grants access to over 400 historic sites, including iconic landmarks like Stonehenge, Dover Castle, and Hadrian’s Wall. By becoming a member, individuals contribute to the preservation of these treasures for future generations. It’s an opportunity to explore centuries of culture, architecture, and heritage, with events, exhibitions, and activities tailored for all ages. Membership also includes exclusive benefits such as free entry, discounts on merchandise, and priority booking for special events. Joining English Heritage isn’t just joining an organisation; it’s embracing a legacy and participating in its ongoing story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *