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A trip to Devon or Cornwall is an opportunity to look back in time at the long and fascinating history that both counties share. The many ancient stones there show how humans first settled in the region thousands of years ago. But for a glimpse of the more recent past, a visit to a castle makes for an informative and scenic day out. Read our guide to the most incredible castles that both counties have to offer.
Nestled in a quiet wooded valley with stunning views of the South Devon countryside, Berry Pomeroy is a romantic Grade I listed ruin that’s said to be one of the most haunted castles in Britain. Unusually, there are two castles on the one site: a Tudor mansion built by the Seymour family enclosed within the walls of an older Norman building. The land was originally given by William the Conqueror to Ralph de Pomeroy in the 11th century as a reward for his support and loyalty during the Norman invasion and the Battle of Hastings. In the 13th century, his descendent Henry de Pomeroy oversaw construction of the castle, and it stayed with the Pomeroys until the late 1540s when it was then acquired by Sir Edward Seymour, who made additions to the castle. He was later executed on the orders of his brother in law Henry VIII, and the castle was abandoned in 1688 and fell into ruin. In 1977, English Heritage took over its management and restoration.