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Exmouth 'Danish' Fort

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Exmouth.
In the historic county of Devonshire.
Modern Authority of Devon.
1974 county of Devon.
Medieval County of Devon.

OS Map Grid Reference: SY00368031
Latitude 50.61397° Longitude -3.40967°

Exmouth 'Danish' Fort has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.


PastScape record headed 'castle' reads "Possible Site of a Danish Fort built in 1001. There are no visible remains."

"Somewhat lower upon the mouth of the river stands Exmouth, that is, the mouth of Exe; anciently Exanmouth;.... yet it should seem it had a castle for its defence above 600 years since; for Mr. Hollinsled saith about the year 1001, the Danes with their navy returned out of Normandy, came to Exmouth and there assaulted the Castle" (Westcote). "It would seem therefore, that in these days (1646) there was both a fort and a castle, but that they were in existance simultaneously is doubtful. In any event the castle was only an earthwork" (Delderfield). The site of this castle is now occupied by a refuse and manure heap - the adjacent ground comprising allotments - There are no visible surface signs of the antiquity and the gardeners working here state that they have been aware of no finds (Field Investigators Comments-R1 HC 24-APR-195). (PastScape)

About the same time, or shortlie after, the Danes with their na'uie, returning out of Normandie, came vnto Ex'mouth, and there assaulted the castell, but they were repelled by them that kept it. (Holinshed)

Is this the same as the Civil War fort of the 1640's marked 'site of castle' on some OS maps that Higham reports? The definite date given in PastScape makes this seem unlikely but no other possible sites listed in PastScape.
Delderfield Civil War fort is probably Topsham 'castle' at about SX967876, not this site. What was at this site is unlikely to have been a medieval castle. Possibly a natural feature with an entirely fanciful history, although could well be a beacon site.
See also Exmouth Castle.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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