Modbury Castle

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameModbury Castle
Alternative NamesMedebury
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityDevon
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishModbury

At the west end of the town are the slight remains of the Champernoun's mansion (Hoskins). At the W end of the town are the supposed remains of the once famous Champernoun mansion. They stand close to the churchyard (Pevsner). Modbury was the home of the Champernownes from the reign of Edward I to the beginning of the 18th century. A licence to crenellate was granted temp. Edward III (JBAA, 33). Licence to crenellate granted 1334 (Higham). The mansion (Modbury House) was taken down in 1705 (White). Taken by a Parliamentary garrison in Dec 1642. In 1698, the remains of Modbury Castle were conveyed to Mrs Sarah Champernowne, who sold "what remained of the old castle" for the materials in 1705. A small part of the mansion yet (c.1822) remains, said to have been a dining room now converted into a stable and hay loft (Lysons). (Devon and Dartmoor HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The use of the C14 as a base needing to be besieged in the C17 suggests a house of some strength, although temporary earthworks did make many, non-fortified, houses into camps. The lack of remains (The slight remains mentioned by the Lysons survived until the mid C20 but are now gone), even given thorough demolition in the C18 suggest, however, a relatively thin walled house.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSX656516
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 695
  • 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
  • Salter, Mike, 1999, The Castles of Devon and Cornwall (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 87 (slight)
  • Hoskins, W.G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon (London: Collins) p. 435
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1952, Buildings of England: South Devon p. 207
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 355-6, 410 online copy
  • White, 1850, History and Directory of Devon p. 545 online copy
  • Lysons, D. and S., 1822, Magna Britannia Vol. 6 Devon p. 342- online transcription


  • Higham, R.A., 1988, 'Devon Castles: an annotated list' Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society Vol. 46 p. 142-9
  • 1927, Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 33 p. 126

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1893, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1330-34) Vol. 2 p. 554 online copy