Rougemont Castle


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.

Exeter (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SX 92093 92940


A Norman ringwork, with walls, towers and bailey; city walls, defences and portions of a Roman city an Anglo Saxon Burh and a medieval walled city; and later formal gardens, all known collectively as Rougemont Castle and Gardens.

Reasons for Designation

The Rougemont area of Exeter is crucially important archaeologically. The walls of the city are basically of Roman layout which was subsequently built on and strengthened in the Anglo Saxon and medieval periods. The walls were also reutilised to form part of one of Norman castle, founded by William the Conqueror. The medieval city was partly owned by the Royal Estate. This area of Exeter still retains layers, deposits and structures which hold important archaeological and environmental evidence from long periods of occupation. Its history is complex and forms part of the heart of an ever evolving city.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 22 October 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 Norman ringwork, bailey, gatehouse, towers and castle curtain wall and parts of a Roman city with its defences, an Anglo Saxon Burh, a medieval walled city and 17th to 18th century gardens all situated on and around a rocky knoll in Exeter called Rougemont. The Norman castle was constructed within and utilised the northern angle of the city walls. It survives differentially; the reutilised city walls to the north east and north west still attain a considerable height. Additional towers were inserted at the junction with the city walls with later bastion towers and a postern which partially stand. Parts of the curtain wall of the castle are still visible and the line of it can be traced. The gatehouse which faces to the south east is also partially standing and retains its original arches. The ringwork, ditches and the outer bailey of the castle are preserved as buried features. Parts of the Roman city, Anglo Saxon Burh and medieval city also survive as buried features and their successive defences form parts of the standing city walls. The outer ditches of the castle were deliberately backfilled and laid out as gardens from the 17th to 18th centuries. The castle was originally built by William I in 1069 under the supervision of Baldwin de Meules, who became its first custodian. The original timber stockade was replaced with a curtain wall and substantial gatehouse before 1200. The outer bailey with walls and barbican was probably in existence by 1136 when the castle was besieged by King Stephen, although they were dismantled sometime after 1587. The castle was always a Royal property but became a residence during the reign of King John. It was falling into a poor state of repair by 1325. There was a prebendal chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary within the Castle from the12th century until it was demolished in 1792. The 17th century public walk and 18th century gardens to Rougemont House with later alterations and additions formed the basis to the public park which opened in 1910.

The area of the castle contains several listed buildings and the public gardens are registered Grade II.


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

Legacy System number:
DV 79
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument Nos: - 448314, 448405, 448306, 448309 and 1361370


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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