Topsham Castle

Has been described as a Rejected Uncertain

There are no visible remains

NameTopsham Castle
Alternative NamesApsom; Mount Howe
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityDevon
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishExeter

On the strand, Topsham, below Mount Howe, the most likely site of Topsham Castle, of which nothing remains. Two other possible sites are considered (Holman). 17th century documentary reference to Topsham Castle is cited (Stone). (Devon Historic Environment Record)

Topsham Castle. — The Copie of a Letter sent from Exeter . . . shewing How the Enemy have besieged the said City . . . and at a place called Apsom . . . battered down a Fort . . ." Printed for Bernard Alsop in London in 1643 (of which a copy is in the library of the Devon and Exeter Institution) states : — " The Earle of Warwicke at his arrivall neere our Castle at Apsom sent a message to the high Sheriffs commanding him to raise the Country . . . but the Sheriffs obstinately refused it . . . then my Lord sent three or foure small ships which battered downe a great Fort levell to the ground where the Cavalleres harboured . . ."

Is it known whereabouts the fort was ? H. Stone.

With reference to Mr. H. Stone's enquiry re Topsham Castle, there are three possible sites for this. The first is on the mud flat called "Greenland," opposite Turf. The second is on the Strand below Mount Howe. The third is on the upper garden of Follett Lodge, near the ferry. A number of cast iron circular six-pounder balls have been dug up on the last named site. The Greenland fort is not shown on any of the ancient charts of the River Exe that I have examined. I consider the Mount Howe site the most probable. H. Wilson Holman. (Devon and Cornwall notes and queries 1920-21)

Gatehouse Comments

Despite the castle name this is a reference to a temporary Civil War fortification. Given map reference for Mount Howe.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX967876
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  • Holman, H.W., 1920-21, Devon and Cornwall notes and queries Vol. 11 Part 1 p. 143 online copy
  • Stone, H., 1920-21, Devon and Cornwall notes and queries Vol. 11 Part 1 p. 96 online copy