Berry Pomeroy Castle

Devon, England

City/Town/Village: Berry Pomeroy
District: South Hams
County: Devon
Latitude/Longitude: 50.4481, -3.63682
Postcode: TQ9 6LJ
(postcode is for sat-nav purposes only, and may not represent the actual address of the castle)

Owner

English Heritage

Accomodation Links

Hotels and Guest Houses in Berry Pomeroy
Tucked away in a deep wooded valley, Berry Pomeroy Castle is the perfect romantic ruin. Within the 15th-century defences of the Pomeroy family castle still displaying a wall painting of the Three Kings in its gatehouse chamber, looms the dramatic ruined shell of its successor, the great Elizabethan mansion of the Seymours. Begun in c.1560 and ambitiously enlarged from c.1600, their mansion was intended to become the most spectacular house in Devon, a match for Longleat and Audley End. Never completed, and abandoned by 1700, it became the focus of blood-curdling ghost stories, recounted in the audio tour.
Admission
Adults: £4.50
Children: £2.30 (5 to 15 years)
Concessions: £3.80
EH Member Cost: Free

Information from English Heritage website

Berry Pomeroy Castle is a Listed Building. Here's what the official description says about it:

SX 86 SW BERRY POMEROY

5/1 Berry Pomeroy Castle

9.2.61

- I


Ruins of medieval castle with ruins of large Elizabethan house within the walls.
Situated on a wooded hill with a steep bluff to the north and a dried moat to the
south. Circa 1300 gatehouse, remains of the curtain walls and St Margaret's Tower
on the east corner. The Seymour house and offices within the walls to the east were
built c.1575 to 1593. Coursed stone with freestone dressings. The gatehouse to
the south has a round-arched gateway flanked by large semi-hexagonal towers connected
by a flattened arch machicolation on corbels. Above the gateway in the guardroom
is a C16 arcade with octagonal piers and chamfered arches. Curtain walls connected
to the St Margaret's Tower to east which projects with a semicircular outer wall.
Nothing survives of the Crenellation. The group of tall, now freestanding, piers
on the north side are probably the remains of the north wing (perhaps the hall) of
the Seymour house which is situated on the north east side of the enceinte. The
Seymour house, built around a small court, has a symmetrical three-storey, five-bay
front with a central doorway and stone mullion four-light windows with hoodmoulds.
The principal windows on the first floor are taller with transoms. The outer, north-
east, facing wall has mullioned windows and the east corner is crenellated. To the
west of the enclosure are the remains of the kitchen, which is all that survives
of the north range of the Seymour house.

Berry Pomeroy was acquired by Ralf de la Pomerai in 1066. There is no evidence of
a castle here before c.1300, although a Crown survey of 1292 recorded a manor house.
In c.1300 the de la Pomerais built the existing fortified castle and in 1548 Sir
Thomas Pomeroy sold it to the Lord Protector Somerset whose son, Sir Edward Seymour,
built a great mansion within the walls and lived there from 1575 to 1593. Sir Edward
Seymour's son, Edward (died 1613) was also responsible for some of the building.
Sir Edward Seymour (1633-1708) moved to Maiden Bradley in Wiltshire and Berry Pomeroy
Castle was abandoned and in ruins by early C18. It is now Scheduled Ancient Monument.

References: Country Life, vol 90, page 1122. John Price "The Worthies of Devon",
first published, 1701.


Listing NGR: SX8390562298

Information from British Listed Buildings


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