Dartmouth Hawleys Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameDartmouth Hawleys Castle
Alternative NamesClifton; Stoke Fleming
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityDevon
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth

The enclosure castle is Listed Grade I and is believed to date from the 14th century when a series of documents indicate that various local gentry were commissioned to construct a fort to defend Dartmouth harbour. The castle is believed to have taken the form of a ring of towers connected by a curtain wall, which was entered through a rectangular stone gate tower. Two lengths of curtain wall standing about 12m high and 2m wide, a circular tower and a substantial rock cut moat are visible, although the other towers and lengths of the curtain wall may survive as buried features. The character of the seaward defences and the buildings erected within the enclosure is not known. Documentary and antiquarian sources, however, confirm that there was a substantial domestic building within the castle enclosure, which at times has been referred to as a manor house and mansion. This building was built by the Carew family who were the lords of the manor of Stoke Fleming. Their building is no longer visible but will survive in the form of buried remains. A flight of steps leading into the remaining curtain wall tower is considered to be contemporary with the mansion and may have been inserted to make it into a garden feature or lookout tower. (Scheduling Report)

Ruined wall. Part of curtain wall from the original fortification on the site. Late C14, some C18 alterations. Local stone rubble. A section of ruined wall stands to south-west of the main castle complex with remains of a circular mural tower. Masonry includes regular series of putlog holes. The stone steps in the tower are thought to be from the C18 when it was adapted as a garden feature. (Listed Building Report)

Oct. 8. 1388 Cambridge. To the mayor and bailiffs of Dertemuth

Order to compel, and if need be to distrain, all men and burgesses of the town who ought so to do, according to the agreement, order and grant by them made, to contribute to the building of a fortalice by the sea at the entrance of that port, unduly sparing none, and from time to time certifying the king and council of the names of any who rebel; as in consideration of the hurt and peril which might happen to the town in this war by assault of the enemy, the mayor and bailiffs and certain good and able burgesses have purposed to build the same for defence of the town and parts adjacent and {of ships} of other parts of the realm which touch there, and by their common assent promised and granted an aid, to be levied for the purpose of the owners, possessors, merchants, masters of ships, barges, balingers, boats etc. to the town pertaining, the seamen and fishers of the town, binding themselves with an oath speedily to accomplish these things, as by their letters patent under the common seal of the town may appear; and now the king is informed that a few individuals, scheming to bring their intent and agreement to nought, refuse to contribute, and are procuring others to refuse, delaying the work, which manifestly concerns the common weal; and writ of aid accordingly to the sheriff of Devon. (Cal. Close R.)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX887502
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Copyright Danny George All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Danny George All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • (For full bibliography of Dartmouth defences see Dartmouth Artillery Castle)
  • Salter, Mike, 1999, The Castles of Devon and Cornwall (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 56-7
  • < >Edwards, Terry, 1998, Hawley's Fortalice (Dartmouth History Research Group Paper 24) < >
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 56
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 115
  • O'Neil, B.H.St.J., 1960, Castles and Cannon: A Study of Early Artillery Fortifications in England (Oxford: Claredon Press)
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 27-9
  • Lysons, D. and S., 1822, Magna Britannia Vol. 6 Devon p. cccxlv-cccxlviii online transcription


  • Higham, R.A., 1988, 'Devon Castles: an annotated list' Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society Vol. 46 p. 142-9
  • Russell, Percy, 1949, 'The Castle and St. Petrox' Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries Vol. 23 p. 200
  • O'Neil, B.H.St.J., 1936, 'Dartmouth Castle and other defences of Dartmouth Haven' Archaeologia Vol. 85 p. 129-59
  • Windeatt, E., 1914, 'The Borough of Clifton-Dartmouth-Hardness' Transactions of the Devonshire Association Vol. 46 p. 421-2 online copy

Guide Books

  • Davison, B.K., 2000, Dartmouth Castle Guidebook (London: English Heritage)
  • Saunders, A.D., 1986, Dartmouth Castle, Devon (London: English Heritage)
  • Saunders, A.D., 1983 2edn, Dartmouth Castle, Devon (HMSO)
  • Saunders, A.D., 1965, Dartmouth Castle, Devon (HMSO)

Primary Sources