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HER Number:MDV1379
Name:Tiverton Castle

Summary

The castle was founded at the beginning of the 12th century, however the earliest surviving fabric is early 14th century. It was a Royalist stronghold in the Civil War and was subsequently slighted. A new house was built into the remains in the early 18th century.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 954 129
Map Sheet:SS91SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTiverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTIVERTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Devon Record Office: 564m/1/189,193
  • Devon Record Office: R.240
  • National Monuments Record: 36436
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS91SE/29
  • Old SAM County Ref: 235
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS91SE1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CASTLE (XI to XVII - 1100 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

Ministry of Works, Tiverton Castle (Schedule Document). SDV345505.

Nearly quadrangular building enclosing about one acre and surrounded by a strong stone wall, having a round tower at the south-east, north-east and north-west angles, and a square one at the south-west. The portion that remains (Dunsford 1790) is either in a very dilapidated state or absolute ruins. A great part of the building was destroyed by Roger Gifford about 1588, and the present house built. The castle is said to have been built by Richard de Riparis, Earl of Devon, about 1106, and held by the family until 1539. Under the castle wall on the west is the entrance to a covered way, supposed to pass under the town to Gold Street. The castle is naturally defended on the west, the rest having a wide deep moat filled from the leat.


Dunsford, M., 1790, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV345501.


Harding, W., 1845, Untitled Source, 103 (Monograph). SDV18684.


Paterson, Dr., 1862, Proceedings of Congress of British Archaeological Association in Exeter, 237-46 (Article in Serial). SDV345507.

Built in 1106, the first building in Tiverton to be of stone, and glazed.


Ordnance Survey, 1880 - 1899, First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Castle (Remains of)' shown on 19th century map.


Ward + Baddley, 1884, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV345514.


Anon, 1900, Tiverton Castle, 47 (Article in Serial). SDV345511.

Descent of ownership given.


Amery, P. F. S., 1900 - 1901, A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789, 207 (Article in Serial). SDV18670.


Skinner, E., 1907, Burg of Tiverton and the Town Leat, 216 (Article in Serial). SDV345516.


Unknown, 1913, Untitled Source, 535 (Article in Serial). SDV345517.


Chalk, E. S., 1927, A Brief Account of the Remains of Tiverton Castle, 97-8 (Article in Serial). SDV345515.


Anon, 1927, Proceedings of Congress of British Archaeological Association in Exeter, 27 (Article in Serial). SDV345509.

Considerable remains of the great gateway and outer walls survive. The castle was dismantled by Fairfax in 1645.


Reichel, O. J., 1928 - 1938, The Hundred of Tiverton in Early Times, 14 (Article in Monograph). SDV35420.

In the 12th century, the castle and its park formed part of the Royal Estate of Tiverton. In 1630 it was purchased by Roger Giffard. Its ownership after this is described.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1951 - 1978, SS91SE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV345510.

The east and south fronts were protected by moats, and then the north, probably by defensive outworks, some of which survive. Little of the north-east tower can be seen due to the erection of a modern house, the lower part of the west wall now forms a garden terrace walk, in the square tower or bastion in the centre of the west wall are blocked passages, possibly part of a drainage system. The buildings on the south part of the east range appear to be intact, though with modern additions, but beyond the north, the gateway wing 'is a mere fragment'. The site of the south gateway has been replaced by relatively recent buildings. The present house which incorporates the late 14th century vaulted inner gate hall, was first built in 1583. Despite suggested 12th century foundation date, no part of the existing remains is earlier than the 14th century.


Hughes, G. W. G., 1952, Proceedings at the Annual Meeting, 229 (Article in Serial). SDV345513.

There is little left of the 14th century castle of the Courtenays which was built on the remains of one of the oldest castles in Devon.


Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 495 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Gatehouse tower. Principal residence of the Courtenays until 1539.


Ugawa, K., 1962, The Economic Development of some Devon Manors in the Thirteenth Century, 638 (Article in Serial). SDV340690.


Youings, J., 1967, King Jame's Charter to Tiverton 1615, 149,154 (Article in Serial). SDV35411.

In the first half of the 12th century Baldwin, or possibly his father, started building Tiverton Castle.


Department of Environment, 1972, Tiverton, 16 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV52494.


Devon County Council, 1975, Tiverton Town Trails, 65 (Article in Monograph). SDV352466.


Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 200, 201, 203 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

There is no documentary evidence relating to the medieval development of Tiverton Castle and its construction date is not recorded, although it probably originated at a date after the foundation of the town and was placed on a vacant site on the northern edge. The present structure contains features daing to the the 14th century and depressions between the castle and the churchyard wall suggest a moat. The castle was the seat of royalist resistence during the Civil War and was slighted soon afterwards. A new house was built into the remains of the earlier structure in the early 18th century.


Higham, R. A., 1979, The Castles of Medieval Devon, 157-160,293,295-6,298, 303,308,315,317,321,332 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV336189.

Figure 51, Plates 52-3.


Department of National Heritage, 1985, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV345506.

Schedule Monument Consent granted for repair and repointing of west gable wall.


Laithwaite, M., 1987, Report on the Tiverton Castle Project 1987 (Un-published). SDV35428.

Probably rebuilt 14th century by Hugh de Courtenay. Courtyard plan, with all rooms built into curtain wall, is characteristic of 14th century. Reeve's account for 1308/9 contains large payment for new hall and chambers. Hall had an upper floor by 1622, by which time two supposed round towers at north end were out of use. Detailed history given.


Griffith, F. M., 1988, DAP/KF, 2a-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV35468.


Griffith, F. M., 1988, DAP/KX, 4-8a (Aerial Photograph). SDV35469.


Higham, R. A., 1988, Devon Castles: An Annotated List, 145 (Article in Serial). SDV341278.

A large irregular sub-rectangular enclosure of 14th century type. On the east side the building has been amended and is occupied. The gatehouse and south range are best preserved, the later including the remains of a hall, with tower at south-west angle. The surrounding moat has been filled in, but the Medieval walls are well preserved. A round tower north of the gatehouse is mentioned in accounts of the 1645 siege, but has since disappeared. The nature of the site (ie whether a fortified manor house or castle etc) is unspecified in contemporary documents. It is described in the 16th century as a mansion or manor.


Griffith, F. M., 1988, Devon's Past. An Aerial View, 105 (Monograph). SDV64198.


Gaimster, D. R. M. + Margeson, S. + Barry, T., 1989, Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1988, 161-241 (Article in Serial). SDV336470.

The east range, constructed in the early 14th century along with most of the other surviving structures, contained a gate passage roofed with a ribbed vault of two rectangular bays. Gatehouse was extended to east in the late 15th century by the addition of a projecting three storey structure, the ground floor of which accommodated an entrance passage with a quadripartite ribbed vault. Several periods were identified in the 15th century tower. A window in the east wall of the first floor room of the 14th century building, above the apex of gateway, was identified. Most of the fabric of the first period was removed on the construction of the 15th century tower. The first floor tower room contained a fireplace in the south wall and a garderobe in the projecting stack in the south-west angle, against the earlier east range. In the north angle a newel stair, also in a projecting structure, gave access to the second floor room (removed in the ?mid 19th century) and to the roof. Further modifications took place in the early 16th century, probably during the residence of Katherine Courtenay (died 1527), daughter of Edward IV. Large three-light mullioned windows were inserted into the east and south walls of the first and second floors of the tower and rooms of the earlier east range. Carved label stops, of similar style to additions to St Peter's church (circa 1517) provide dating evidence for these alterations.


Department of Environment, 1994, Tiverton Castle (Correspondence). SDV345508.

Modified extent of the Scheduled Monument. Only the uninhabitted parts of the building are covered.


Mid Devon District Council, 1995, Tiverton Conservation Area Partnership Scheme. Preliminary Application, 5 (Un-published). SDV346055.


Higham, R. A. + Freeman, J. P., 1996, Devon Castles (Draft Text), 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, gazetteer (Monograph). SDV354350.

Situated on the edge of the medieval borough of Tiverton, overlooking the Exe, Tiverton Castle was originally an undefended house. However, when the Courtenays inherited Tiverton Castle from the de Redvers in 1293 they subsequently redeveloped the site as a substantially fortified manor house.
The surviving medieval fabric then is mostly 14th century. This includes parts of the east range which forms the outer wall of the castle and has a fine gatehouse and a circular tower at the south-east corner of the site, the west wall overlooking the river with traces of a round tower at its northern end and a square one mid way along the wall. Ruins also remain of the southern range including first floor chambers, a chapel and possibly a hall. The domestic buildings were substantially modifed in the late 16th and 17th centuries. However, the lack of evidence for alteration to the defences at the time of the Civil War may be due to the construction of an outer defensive earthwork circuit which has long since disappeared.


Higbee, L. + Collings, A. G., 2000, Archaeological Recording at Tiverton High School and East Devon College Campuses, Tiverton, 2-4 (Report - Assessment). SDV323421.


The Society of Moorland Dowsers, 2002, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV345512.

Identified the possible site of the Norman keep, twin moats and a tunnel system linking the castle with the church and town.


Wessex Archaeology, 2003, Blundells Road, Tiverton, Devon: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment, 5, 14; figure 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV345760.

Site WA 2.


Higham, R. A., 2009, Devon Castle Studies. A Personal Reflection. Devon Archaeological Society Presidential Lecture 2009, 12; figure 8 (Article in Serial). SDV344775.

The 12th century manor house was transformed into a castle from circa 1300. It was the Courtenays family's regular residence and underwent many developments in the later medieval and post-medieval periods.


National Monuments Record, 2010, 36436 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345518.

The castle was founded at the beginning of the 12th century by Richard de Redvers, the first Earl of Devon. None of this castle survives. The surviving castle has a quadrangular plan and encloses about an acre. The earliest fabric surviving is early 14th century and comprises stone-built first floor chapel, hall and solar, a west wall with square turret, three-storey round tower on the southeast corner, and gatehouse. Later additions are also present.


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

'Castle (remains of)' shown on modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Article in Serial: Amery, P. F. S.. 1900 - 1901. A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1. Unknown. 207.
  • Monograph: Harding, W.. 1845. History of Tiverton. 1. Unknown. 103.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880 - 1899. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
  • Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 495.
  • Post-Graduate Thesis: Higham, R. A.. 1979. The Castles of Medieval Devon. University of Exeter Thesis. Unknown. 157-160,293,295-6,298, 303,308,315,317,321,332.
  • Report - Assessment: Higbee, L. + Collings, A. G.. 2000. Archaeological Recording at Tiverton High School and East Devon College Campuses, Tiverton. Exeter Archaeology Report. 00.57. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2-4.
  • Article in Serial: Ugawa, K.. 1962. The Economic Development of some Devon Manors in the Thirteenth Century. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 94. A5 Hardback. 638.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
  • Monograph: Dunsford, M.. 1790. Historical Memoirs of the Town and Parish of Tiverton. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Gaimster, D. R. M. + Margeson, S. + Barry, T.. 1989. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1988. Medieval Archaeology. 33. Unknown. 161-241.
  • Article in Serial: Higham, R. A.. 1988. Devon Castles: An Annotated List. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 46. Paperback Volume. 145.
  • Article in Serial: Higham, R. A.. 2009. Devon Castle Studies. A Personal Reflection. Devon Archaeological Society Presidential Lecture 2009. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 67. Paperback Volume. 12; figure 8.
  • Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. Tiverton Castle. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
  • Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 200, 201, 203.
  • Article in Serial: Unknown. 1913. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 535.
  • Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 1985. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1951 - 1978. SS91SE1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 36436. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
  • Article in Serial: Anon. 1900. Tiverton Castle. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 46. Unknown. 47.
  • Article in Serial: Paterson, Dr.. 1862. Proceedings of Congress of British Archaeological Association in Exeter. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 18. Unknown. 237-46.
  • Article in Serial: Hughes, G. W. G.. 1952. Proceedings at the Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 229.
  • Report - Assessment: Wessex Archaeology. 2003. Blundells Road, Tiverton, Devon: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment. Wessex Archaeology Report. 54068.01. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5, 14; figure 2.
  • Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1994. Tiverton Castle. Letter.
  • Article in Serial: Skinner, E.. 1907. Burg of Tiverton and the Town Leat. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 39. A5 Hardback. 216.
  • Un-published: Mid Devon District Council. 1995. Tiverton Conservation Area Partnership Scheme. Preliminary Application. Mid Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5.
  • Article in Serial: Anon. 1927. Proceedings of Congress of British Archaeological Association in Exeter. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 27.
  • Monograph: Ward + Baddley. 1884. Guide to South Devon. Unknown.
  • Worksheet: The Society of Moorland Dowsers. 2002. Worksheet.
  • Article in Serial: Chalk, E. S.. 1927. A Brief Account of the Remains of Tiverton Castle. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 97-8.
  • Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Tiverton Town Trails. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 65.
  • Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. DAP/KF. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2a-5.
  • Monograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Paperback Volume. 105.
  • Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. DAP/KX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4-8a.
  • List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1972. Tiverton. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 16.
  • Un-published: Laithwaite, M.. 1987. Report on the Tiverton Castle Project 1987. A4 Stapled.
  • Article in Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928 - 1938. The Hundred of Tiverton in Early Times. The Hundreds of Devon. A5 Hardback. 14.
  • Article in Serial: Youings, J.. 1967. King Jame's Charter to Tiverton 1615. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 99. A5 Paperback. 149,154.
  • Monograph: Higham, R. A. + Freeman, J. P.. 1996. Devon Castles (Draft Text). Devon Castles. A4 Unbound + Digital. 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, gazetteer.

Associated Monuments

MDV19526Parent of: Gatehouse, Tiverton Castle (Building)
MDV19525Parent of: Late 17th Century House, Tiverton Castle (Building)
MDV13845Parent of: Tiverton Castle Chapel (Monument)
MDV13846Parent of: Tiverton Castle Keep (Monument)
MDV45918Related to: Barn to East of Tiverton Castle (Monument)
MDV24472Related to: Castle Barton, Park Hill, Tiverton (Building)
MDV24476Related to: Castle Lodge, Park Hill, Tiverton (Building)
MDV45919Related to: Military Earthworks, Tiverton Castle (Monument)
MDV44186Related to: Possible Location of Medieval Market (Monument)
MDV16967Related to: Tiverton Manor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Apr 15 2015 11:49AM