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Exeter Castle

Hob Uid: 448314
Location :
Devon
Exeter
Exeter
Grid Ref : SX9210009296
Summary : Sited on a natural rock knoll known as Rougemont, the castle was built in 1086 following William the Conqueror's subjection of the city. Initially defended by the city wall and ditch to the north and a stockaded ring-work like bank and ditch to the south, walls were substituted for the stockade by the early 12th century. An outer bailey with a barbican entry was added before 1200, and although the defences were destroyed some time after 1587 their circuit can still be traced. The castle was beseiged by King Stephen in 1136, was a Royal residence in the reign of King John but had ceased to have any military importance by 1300. It was in bad condition by 1325, the only repairs recorded afterwards being to buildings rather than defences, and was ruinous in 1774. Claims that Rougemont was an Iron Age fort before the Norman castle are without foundation. Now used as the Devon Assize Hall and Session House. Scheduled.
More information : [SX 921 929] Exeter Castle (NR) (1)

Exeter Castle is sited on a natural knoll of igneous rock called Rougemont in the northern angle of the Roman-and-later City wall. It was built in 1068, on a site selected by William the Conqueror immediately after his subjection of Exeter in 1068, under the supervision of Baldwin de Meules, who became the first custodian. In the first place the castle was defended on the north east and north west by the city wall and ditch (no doubt strengthened), and on the south side by a large ditch and stockaded ring-work type bank, through which entry was made by an 11th century Gate Tower of strong keep-like character. Walls were substituted for the stockade probably by the early 12th century, but there seems never to have been a motte or keep within the enclosed area (though Norden's Map shows what looks very like a ruined rectangular keep against the north east wall). An outer Bailey, with wall and ditch defences and a barbican entry, was added at some time before 1200, and although the defences were destroyed some time after 1587, their circuit can still be traced and a small portion of the wall survives in Bailey Street. This outer bailey may have been in existence in 1136 when the castle was besieged by King Stephen, as he is recorded as capturing a 'promurale' and a 'pontem interiorem', the former of which might be the outer bailey barbican, without penetrating the main defences. But Vachell considers that the outer bailey could not have been constructed before the end of the 12th century, and is so opposed to an earlier dating that he postulates as the 'promurale' an additional barbican immediately across the inner ditch from the main Gate Tower. Towers at the junctions with the city walls were probably early features, and other towers and a postern came later. The castle was in Royal hands from the beginning, and was a Royal residence in the reign of King John. It was in a poor state of repair in 1325 and the only repairs recorded aterwards were to buildings within the castle rather than to the defences. It was in bad condition by 1774 and had probably ceased to have any military importance by 1300. Claims that Rougemont was a Iron Age fort before the Norman castle are without foundation. (See Map Diagram.) (2-7)

Rougemont Castle, Grade I, Castle Street (north end). Norman. Walls, Aethelstan's Tower and the Gate Tower. The last is much restored.
The Castle (Crown Court), Grade II*, Castle Street (north end). 1774.Main front is of stone and is 2 storeys. Ground floor rusticated withround-headed openings. Slate roof with cupola. Modern west wing in red stone.
(For full descriptions see list.)
All the listed building in Castle Street form a group. (8)

Listed by Cathcart King. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:2500 1969
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : (G Oliver) Reproductions of 'Norden's Map' of 1617 opp p139 and Map temp Henry VIII opp p128
Page(s) : 128-39
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 7, 1850
Source Number : 3
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : (GT Clark)
Page(s) : 416-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 30, 1873
Source Number : 4
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : (CA Ralegh Radford)
Page(s) : 138
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 114, 1957
Source Number : 5
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 647-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details : (ET Vachell)
Page(s) : 327-48
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 98, 1966
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Two Thousand Years in Exeter 1969 26-28 (W G Hoskins)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Exeter Area, Devon June 1974 23
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 116
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : built 1086
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1086
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Added C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Bailey, Barbican, Interval Tower, Angle Tower, Postern, Gatehouse
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Ruinous in 1774
Monument End Date : 1774
Monument Start Date : 1774
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : 20th Century
Monument End Date : 2000
Monument Start Date : 1901
Monument Type : Assize Court, Sessions House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DV 79
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 109975
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 88902
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 99 SW 21
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 448405
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : GANDY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : BRADNINCH PLACE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : BRADNINCH PLACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : ROYAL ALBERT MEMORIAL MUSEUM, BRADNINCH PLACE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT EXETER CASTLE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : ROYAL ALBERT MEMORIAL MUSEUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : ROUGEMONT HOUSE MUSEUM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31