Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry footings remains

Alternative NamesExminstre
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityDevon
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishExminster

In the village of Exminster there existed in olden time a castle, Exminster Castle, not yet forgotten by the antiquary. Leland mentions it as an embattled house in his Itinerary. William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury A.D. 1381-96, was born there. Some fifty years ago an archway leading to the castle entrance remained; it has long been since pulled down, and with it the last memorial of the old building. The ground was bought about six years ago by Mr. Carpenter of Gatehouse, Dawlish; and on digging up the soil, the foundations of the castle were brought to light, with the wide stone steps leading to the entrance. The stones were used in building the new wall by the roadside; and now, beyond a few lines, there is nothing to mark the spot where the old castle was. It stood on the left-hand side of the main road as you pass through Exminster from Exeter, and exactly opposite Pottles Lane. (Pengally).

Many years ago some conglomerate stonework was taken away from what is now the garden of Crockwell's farm. There is no visible evidence of the castle.

Centred at SX 94538747. The area indicated is a garden, raised above the general level of its surroundings by about 1.0 metres, and enclosed by a wall of conglomerate blocks. Quite level, with no evidence of masonry, the soil is scattered with fragments of green glazed Md. pottery. It is probable that there was a building occupying this area ; more likely a fortified house of the Courtenay's than a castle in the military sense, and which may have preceded the house at Powderham (F1 NVQ 30-JUN-53). (PastScape)

Leland writes "there is a ruined manor house here with a battlemented front, which I believe was owned by the Marquis of Exeter" (Chandler)

Gatehouse Comments

The area has now been built upon, although considerable area are gardens so some archaeological investigations could be made.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX945874
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  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 121 (possible)
  • Reichel, O.J., 1928-1938. 'The Hundred of Exminster in Early Times' in The Hundreds of Devon (Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and Art) p. 279


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 120
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 232 online copy


  • Reichel, O.J., 1915, 'The Hundred of Exminster in Early Times' Transactions of the Devonshire Association Vol. 47 p. 94, 200, 202, 206, 212, 235
  • Pengelly, W., 1875, 'Memoranda. Part I (Exminster Castle, Exminster Monastery, meteorological phenomena, equinoctial ocean wave)' Transactions of the Devonshire Association Vol. 7 p. 198-99 online copy