Lydford ‘Castle’

I was a few minutes early for a meeting at Lydford Gorge yesterday so I stopped and had a quick look around Lydford Castle and took a few photographs. The site is owned and managed by English Heritage.

Lydford Castle was built as a prison and not a Castle and had a fearsome reputation ‘the most annoymous, contagious and detestable place within this realm’. As a result there are many legends and ghost stories associated with the place – see here for example. William Browne, the Tavistock poet wrote these often quoted lines:

“I oft have heard of Lydford Law,
How in the morn they hang and draw,
And sit in judgment after

This link gives a detailed history of Lydford Castle if you are interested in more information.

Lydford Castle 2 The bleak ‘Castle’ perched on its mound

Lydford Castle 3You can go inside (access is always open and free of charge) – here is the first floor

Lydford Castle 5The ‘ground floor’ – prisoners were dropped into here via a trap door….

Lydford Castle 4Views across to the Willsworthy Ranges

Lydford Castle 6

Lydford Church – in the heart of this Saxon Village – note the green hummock to the right of the tower – this is the Motte of the earlier Norman Castle (owned by the National Trust despite what the website says!)

Lydford Castle 1 The pub sign in the village – it looks like Richard the Lion Heart is paying a visit!

One thought on “Lydford ‘Castle’

  1. I visited with my daughters, the Monday before Christmas. It was cold, grey and bleak that day; lacking in any festive cheer. The castle is in a good state of repair and was very spooky in the gloom. Naturally my little girls, being raised on ghost stories and the Famous Five, loved it. They spent a long time (very long to my cold self!) searching for hidden passageways they were sure were there.

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