This castle was built in about 1070 by Baldwin de Brionne He was sheriff of Devon and was a

descendant of Duke Richard I of Normandy, the great-grandfather of William the Conqueror’.

It was of a motte and bailey type, with a stone towered keep crowning the motte. The stone used, was quarried from the ditch or moat that surrounded the castle. Baldwin continued to make this his centre of operations and he is believed, to have taken part in the compiling of information for the Domesday book.

After Baldwin’s death in 1090, his three sons, William, Robert and Richard, spent little time here, attending to business in Normandy or campaigning in Wales. Richard de Brionne finally took an interest in Okehampton, establishing a Cistercian house at Brightley. On his death in 1137 the male line of Brionne came to an end and he was succeeded by his sister Adelizia who died in 1142.

Ownership from this time enters a period of uncertainty with, among others, Robert fitzEde, bastard son of Henry I becoming involved until Hawisia, a surviving member of the family,

married Reginald Courtenay in 1173.

It remained in the family and Robert Courtenay, sheriff of Devon in 1219 was probably

responsible for much of the rebuilding

of the castle we see today.

In 1538 Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, was involved in a conspiracy and was executed.

The castle was then partially dismantled.

Queen Mary in 1553, restored the family estates to Henry’s son Edward,

who was later to be implicated in a rebellion and who died abroad.

The property then passed to his four sisters.

The castle by the 17th century was probably so ruinous it did not feature in the Civil War.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was owned by Sydney Simmons, who did some restoration work, granting the property in 1917, to the Okehampton Castle Trust.

It is now in the care of English Heritage and is open to the public.

English &Welsh Castle Picture Search Results

Your Search returned 1 pictures.

Click on a picture to enlarge and order

Home     Profile     Main Picture Library     English & Welsh Castles     News