Castle Roborough, Loxhore

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte Ringwork), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameCastle Roborough, Loxhore
Alternative NamesLoxore
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityDevon
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishLoxhore

A simple mound about 120ft in diameter at the base 15ft high. In its summit is a basin-shaped hollow over 7ft in depth (VCH).

Situated in a ploughed field on a slight ridge with the land falling away gently to the E & W, is a large, near-circular mound, maximum height 4.0m, with a great central depression. A few stones are exposed in the turf and fern covering. There is no visible trace of an encircling ditch or outlying earthwork or bailey. The central depression which is fairly regular seems to be part of the original plan of the mound as no dispersal of the spoil maybe seen either on the mound or in its surrounds. The mound is rather large for a barrow or beacon and is possibly a Norman motte. A sunken lane passes the mound to the immediate south. There were no surface finds (F1 GCS 30-NOV-53). (PastScape)

Castle Roborough at Loxhore is a motte about 40yds diameter and 15' high, with 7' deep hollow in the top, there is no sign of any bailey. The situation suggests a private castle of no particular importance. (Grinsell 1970)

Roborough castle was built in 1136 by Robert or Baldwin (Newland 1999)

Gatehouse Comments

Despite the comments of the field investigator the central depression in the motte may represent the robbing out of stone tower and this may have been a tower with motte raised around it (as at Lydford) rather than a ringwork. Not an obvious manorial centre, but an area of dispersed settlement. The date of construction given by Newland is probably unsupported by actual evidence but not unreasonable. Currently (2012) on the Heritage at Risk Register.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSS620377
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  • Higham, Robert A., 1999, 'Castles, Fortified Houses and Fortified Towns in the Middle Ages' in Kain, R. and Ravenhill, W., Historical Atlas of South-West England (University of Exeter Press) p. 136-43
  • Newland, Diana, 1999, Loxhore p. 15
  • Salter, Mike, 1999, The Castles of Devon and Cornwall (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 87 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 117
  • Grinsell, L.V., 1970, The archaeology of Exmoor (David & Charles) p. 134-135
  • Allcroft, A. Hadrian, 1908, Earthwork of England (London) p. 404 online copy
  • Wall, C., 1906, in Page, Wm (ed), 'Ancient Earthworks' VCH Devon Vol. 1 p. 614


  • Higham, R.A., 1988, 'Devon Castles: an annotated list' Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society Vol. 46 p. 142-9
  • Higham, R.A., 1982, 'Early Castles in Devon' Château Gaillard Vol. 9-10 p. 101-116
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 88 online copy
  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 90 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 96 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 95 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 112 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 102 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 97 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 104 online copy
  • Higham, R.A., 1979, The Castles of Medieval Devon (University of Exeter PhD Thesis) Downloadable from EThOS