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Tiverton Castle

Tiverton Castle

Step Back in Time at Tiverton Castle

Rising majestically above the River Exe in Devon, Tiverton Castle provides a window into 700 years of British history. Allowing visitors to explore its imposing Norman stone walls, grand formal gardens, and intricately decorated historic interiors, a day out at Tiverton Castle is an immersive journey into the past.

From admiring sweeping views from the ramparts to discovering fine decorative details in the elegant rooms, Tiverton Castle captivates history lovers of all ages. Here is an in-depth guide to planning your visit to this fascinating piece of Devon’s vibrant history.

outside Tiverton castle

Getting There

By Car

Tiverton Castle is conveniently located in central Tiverton, just a couple of miles from Junction 27 of the M5. Well signed from all directions, it sits just off Castle Street near the River Exe. Pay and display parking is available at the nearby multi-storey carpark.

By Bus

Tiverton town has a main bus station within easy walking distance of the Castle. Regular Stagecoach and Beacon Bus services run to Tiverton from Exeter and neighbouring villages.

Opening Times and Prices

Tiverton Castle is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm between Easter and October each year. It offers slightly reduced hours on weekends only from October to Easter. The castle closes entirely in January and February.

Entry prices are:

  • Adults: £10
  • Concessions: £5
  • Children (5-16): £5
  • Family (2 adults + 3 kids): £22
  • Under 5s: Free
Tiverton castle dininig room

The Castle’s History

From its construction in 1106 by Baron Baldwin de Redvers through to the luxurious expansion by the wealthy Blundell family in the 17th century, engaging displays tell the story of those who have owned Tiverton Castle across nine centuries of changing power.

Interactive exhibits and artwork vividly bring to life what life would have been like here through different eras – from banquets in the Great Hall to Civil War sieges. Costumed interpreters also provide added colour and context.

The Castle Interiors

Beyond its imposing 12 foot thick Norman walls, Tiverton Castle’s elegant historic rooms provide a glimpse into the fine life of past inhabitants:

  • The Great Hall – Impressive medieval features like stone columns and leaded windows where feasts once took place.
  • State Rooms – Ornate plaster ceilings and carved marble fireplaces decorated by architect John Bolton for Peter Blundell.
  • Long Gallery – Stunning barrel-vaulted ceiling in this striking 85ft Elizabethan expansion.
  • Fine Furnishings – Antiques, textiles, furniture and portraits create a time-capsule feel.

The immaculately preserved interiors provide a treasure-trove of design details and decorations to spot as you move through the castle rooms.

Tiverton Castle dining room

The Formal Gardens

The sweeping grounds of Tiverton Castle provide beautiful views across the Exe valley. The geometrically designed formal gardens create an ornamental space to explore.

Paths curve around manicured lawns, colourful flower beds, tranquil fountains and finely clipped shrubs. There are benches tucked into alcoves that make perfect picnic spots to admire the gardens.

The castle ramparts also allow you to appreciate views over the river and Tiverton’s town and church steeples beyond. It’s the ideal vantage point for panoramic photos capturing Tiverton Castle’s majestic setting.

Family Activities

As well as the gardens to run around in, Tiverton Castle incorporates several family-friendly elements:

  • Knight’s Quest trail – Follow clues to track down facts and trivia.
  • Costumed re-enactors – Chat to “characters” from different eras.
  • Children’s discovery packs – Activity backpacks full of resources to explore.
  • Fancy dress costumes – Dress up as knights or princesses in the play area.
  • Regular events – From jousts to crafts days, special events bring added magic.

From tots to teens, children love imagining themselves immersed in castle life, whether that’s as noble knights or Tudor ladies. The castle’s family activities spark kids’ imaginations.

Facilities and Food

The Castle Tea Rooms within the grounds offers hot snacks, cakes, Devon cream teas and refreshments. An outdoor courtyard provides extra seating when fine.

The small gift shop stocks souvenirs, decorations, history books and pocket-money items. Toilets can be found near the Tea Rooms.

Making a Day of It

It typically takes 1.5-2 hours to explore Tiverton Castle’s principal rooms and gardens, not rushing. Visiting later in the day when it is quieter allows more time to soak up the atmosphere.

The castle makes an excellent focal point as part of a day exploring Tiverton’s historic streets and independent shops, many with an old-world charm. A stroll along the Exe Valley Way back towards the town centre provides scenic riverside walking after your castle tour.

With seven centuries of stories to uncover, Tiverton Castle brings Devon’s dramatic history to life for visitors of all ages. Step back in time wandering the ramparts, fine rooms and ornamental gardens of this fascinating castle.

Tiverton castle suit of armour

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Tiverton Castle? – The castle is currently under the private ownership of Angus and Alison Gordon

Who built Tiverton Castle? It was built in 1106 by Richard de Redvers, on the orders of Henry I. The de Redvers family were the first Norman barons in Devon

How long do you need to visit Tiverton Castle? As a guide, most people spend anout 1.5 hours at the Castle.

Other nearby attractions

  • Hemyock Castle, located approximately 10 miles from Tiverton Castle, is a medieval motte-and-bailey castle with a rich history. Visitors can explore the ruins and enjoy the picturesque surroundings, offering a glimpse into the area’s past
  • Knightshayes Court, a National Trust property, is an elegant Victorian country house with stunning gardens. Visitors can admire the architectural splendor of the house and explore the meticulously landscaped gardens, providing a delightful day out for history and nature enthusiasts
  • The Tiverton Museum Of Mid Devon Life offers a captivating journey through the region’s history. Visitors can explore exhibits showcasing local heritage, including displays on agriculture, industry, and everyday life, providing an enriching experience for those interested in the area’s cultural heritage
  • The Devon Railway Centre, situated approximately 3.5 miles from Tiverton Castle, is a paradise for railway enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy miniature train rides, explore the model railways, and learn about the history of railways in the region, making it an engaging attraction for all ages
  • Escot is a stunning estate featuring a magnificent house, gardens, and a variety of family-friendly activities. Visitors can enjoy woodland walks, encounter wildlife in the parkland, and explore the fascinating history of the estate, offering a diverse and enjoyable day out for all
  • The Grand Western Canal offers a tranquil setting for leisurely walks and boat trips. Visitors can appreciate the scenic beauty of the canal, observe wildlife, and unwind in the peaceful ambiance of the waterway, providing a relaxing and picturesque experience
  • A la Ronde is a unique 16-sided house with delightful gardens, located near Exmouth. This National Trust property offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the lives of its former inhabitants and features a shell gallery with intricate designs crafted by the original owners

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