Tiverton Castle in Devon
Brambles Bed and Breakfast Tiverton
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Whitnage is 4.7 miles from Tiverton Castle
Few buildings evoke such a feeling of history as
venerable Tiverton Castle, this year celebrating its 900th anniversary.
Originally built in 1106 by order of Henry I, and later rebuilt and much
enlarged in the 13th and 14th centuries, it was once home of the powerful
medieval Earls of Devon and of a Plantagenet Princess. With later additions and
alterations down the centuries all periods of architecture from medieval to
modern can be seen, with beautiful walled gardens within the romantic ruins.
Besieged during the English Civil War by General Sir Thomas Fairfax, it fell due
to a lucky shot hitting a drawbridge chain. This was the only time in its long
history that it saw battle. Part Scheduled Ancient Monument and part Grade I
Listed, the Castle is the private home of Angus and Alison Gordon.
Tiverton Castle is thought to have been built by Richard de Redvers, first Earl of Devon, during the reign of Henry I. After the Civil War the Castle was dismantled leaving only parts of the 14th century still standing - the banqueting hall, a tower, the chapel and a gateway. These are the parts that are said to be haunted. Other remains of the original castle have been altered and turned into private residences. The Courtenays once lived at Tiverton Castle and it may be a ghost of this famous family that still haunts the place where perhaps she knew some brief happiness.
It is said that the young lady of the family had only been married for a few hours before she met her death. Legend has it that a large carved chest, part of the castle furniture, was discovered by the young bride while she was playing hide and seek with the younger guests almost immediately following the wedding ceremony.
As her friends looked throughout the castle desperately finding somewhere original to hide, the bride ran off alone and came across the large carved chest in a shadowy corner of one of the corridors, she hastily climbed inside before anyone could see her and, as she heard footsteps approaching, she quickly lowered the lid. There was an ominous 'click' as a spring lock snapped into position and to her horror the terrified girl discovered that she could not open the chest from the inside and furthermore so stoutly made and well-fitting was the chest that it was virtually soundproof. In the hot darkness of the prison in which she had confined herself, the distraught girl soon met her death from suffocation.
The hours passed and the games came to an end but where was the lovely young bride? Guests and family searched high and low, shouting her name and seeking her in every room but they all overlooked the dark chest in the shadows. In any case it seemed to be locked so how could she hide inside.
Much later when the chest was eventually opened the yellowing wedding dress covered little more than a skeleton of the beautiful bride who had innocently hidden herself there. But over the years there have been reports of the figure of a sad young bride wandering silently and sorrowfully through parts of the old castle, a figure that is glimpsed at the far end of a room or passing through a doorway or looking out of an ancient window; often by people who have no knowledge of the story or the fact that the castle is haunted.
or Phone: 01884 829211
Address: Brambles Bed and Breakfast, Whitnage Cottage, Whitnage, (near Tiverton Castle) Tiverton, Devon EX16 7DS.
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