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Colcombe Castle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SY24759481
Latitude 50.74804° Longitude -3.06799°

Colcombe Castle has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry footings remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


A castle of the Earls of Devon, first built in the 13th century, now mostly in ruins. A long range of buildings with the kitchen at its north end, the hall probably adjoining it. Some Perpendicular style, some straight-headed mullioned windows (Pevsner).
The Medieval house was rebuilt on a massive scale by the Marquess of Exeter, but it fell into ruin following his attainder in 1539. Again rebuilt in the early 17th century by the Pole family but when they moved to Shute, Colcombe became a farmhouse. Much early 16th century work remains including the kitchen and room above.
Traces of pre-16th century work are visible but more conspicuous are the 17th century additions by Sir Wm.Pole (Hoskins). (PastScape)

Colcombe Castle was a seat of the earls of Devonshire. One of the last earls had begun to rebuild it on a magnificent scale, but it was left unfinished, and was in ruins when it came into the possession of Sir William Pole. Sir William rebuilt it and made it the place of his residence; his son Sir John, created a baronet during his father's lifetime, in 1628, then resided at Shute, which his successors have made their chief seat. Colcombe Castle has been deserted, and is now in a state of dilapidation: part of it has been fitted up as a farm-house. (Lysons)

House. Circa C17 with later alterations. Stone rubble with quoins and rendered front. Slate roof with gabled ends. Two stoeys. Two window range. Modern metal frame casements replace former stone mullion windows. Central plank door with modern gabled porch. Extended at rear to form deep plan and with further extension with catslide roof. Interior heavy stopped chamfer ceiling beams. On the site of and possibly incorporating some of the remains of Colcombe Castle one of the seats of the Courtenays, Earls of Devon, and first built in late C13, by Hugh de Courtenay, partly rebuilt by Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, but after his execution in 1540 it was confiscated by the Crown. Returned to Edward Marquis of Exeter who died in 1556. Bought by William Pole of Shute whose son William Pole the historian and antiquarian completed the house and made Colcombe his residence. (Listed Building Report)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:52

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