Tiverton Castle (uninhabited buildings)


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Mid Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SS 95420 12926


Quadrangular castle called Tiverton Castle.

Reasons for Designation

A quadrangular castle is a strongly fortified residence built of stone, or sometimes brick, around a square or rectangular courtyard. The outer walls formed a defensive line, frequently with towers sited on the corners and occasionally in intermediate positions as well. Ditches, normally wet but sometimes dry, were also found outside the walls. Within the castle, accommodation was provided in the towers or in buildings set against the walls which opened onto the central courtyard. Later examples demonstrate an increasing emphasis on domestic comfort to the detriment of defence. They provided residences for the king or leading families and occur in both rural and urban situations. They are major medieval monument types which, belonging to the highest levels of society, frequently acted as major administrative centres and formed the foci for developing settlement patterns. Castles generally provide an emotive and evocative link to the past and can provide a valuable educational resource, both with respect to medieval warfare and defence, and to wider aspects of medieval society. Tiverton Castle survives well, and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use, social, economic and administrative significance as well as its landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a quadrangular castle, known as Tiverton Castle, situated in a prominent urban location overlooking the River Exe. The monument survives as the southern and western sides of a sub rectangular castle, comprising a series of ruined towers, curtain walls, standing structures and buried features. The remaining structures to the north and east which form the other sides to the quadrangle are inhabited so are not included in the monument. The southern curtain wall stands to a considerable height and has windows and parts of a projecting tower. The upper floor appears to have held grand rooms with a domestic range below. In the south west corner stands a square tower which was used as a chapel and solar. This has windows, part of a staircase and a first floor fireplace. The curtain walls and parts of a square tower with a garderobe shoot survive to the west above a steep natural slope down to the river Exe. These terminate to the north in the base of a circular tower. Enclosed behind the curtain wall and towers, other structures and archaeologically rich deposits are preserved as buried features. Tiverton Castle was probably built by Richard de Riparis, Earl of Devon in around 1106, forming part of the Royal Estate and was held by the Courtenay family until 1539. In the late 16th century it was purchased by Roger Giffard who made considerable changes to the character of the buildings. It was partially dismantled by Fairfax in 1645. After the Civil War, Peter West a rich merchant from Tiverton continued to modernise the castle and it subsequently passed to the Carew family.

Tiverton Castle is Listed Grade I .


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
DV 235
Legacy System:


Pastscape Monument No:- 36436


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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