History of Hembury Castle
Discover how Hembury Castle at Hembury and Holne Woods was built in two phases – first as an Iron Age hillfort, followed by an early Norman motte (mound) and bailey (enclosure) castle.
Iron Age hillfort
Although there have been no archaeological excavations at the site, survey work shows that the enclosure consisted of an inner rampart (bank), which was then surrounded by a ditch and outer rampart with one original entrance.
The survey suggests the location of five timber round houses inside the hillfort, though there could have been many more along with storage buildings, fences and pits or possibly a large open space for corralling stock.
Early Norman castle
Following the Norman Conquest and over 1,000 years after the hillfort was abandoned, the Iron Age defences were reused for the site of an earth and timber motte and bailey castle.
The motte was built around a timber tower, long since rotted away, leaving the large central hole. Small enclosures around the motte would have held further domestic or store buildings.
Explore the many trails and paths at Hembury and Holne Woods. From a gentle walk to something a bit more strenuous, you'll discover something to suit your mood.
Discover the abundant wildlife you can spot on a visit to the Teign Gorge, from birds and butterflies to Dartmoor ponies and fallow deer.