Tiverton Castle is the remains of a medieval castle dismantled after the Civil War and thereafter converted in the 17th century into a country house. It occupies a defensive position above the banks of the River Exe at Tiverton in Devon.
Once considerably larger, Tiverton Castle now comprises a group of ruined defensive perimeter walls, towers and buildings from various periods. A Norman motte was built in 1106.
During the Civil War the Castle was a Royalist stronghold. Fairfax's Parliamentarian troops laid siege to a troop of Royalists within the Castle and set up his headquarters at Blundell's School and stationed his artillery on Skrink Hills (or "Shrink" Hills) just above him and below Cranmore Castle, about half a mile from Tiverton Castle. The Culverin, the largest artillery piece used by the New Model Army, was capable of firing up to 2,000 yards. Whilst they were still finding their range a lucky shot hit one of the chains holding up the Castle's drawbridge and a small party of roundheads were able swiftly to gain entry and thus put an end to the siege almost before it had started. The bulk of the defensive structure was then demolished by Parliamentarian troops to prevent any military re-use of the structure.
The primary source is the 1645 narrative by John Rushworth (c.1612-1690) dated "Tiverton, Octob. 19. 1645. at nine a clock at night", entitled: The taking of Tiverton, with the castle, church, and fort, by Sir Thomas Fairfax, on the Lords-day last, Octob. 19. 1645. Wherein was taken Colonel Sir Gilbert Talbot, the governour. Major Sadler, major to Col. Talbot. 20. officers of note. 200. common souldiers. Foure peece of ordnance. 500. armes, with store of ammunition, provision, and treasure. Also the severall defeats given to Goring, by his Excellency, and all Gorings forces fled before him. Published according to order".
In 1106 the large and important manor of Tiverton was granted by King Henry I (1100–1135) to Richard de Redvers (fl. 1066–1107), who built the castle.His son Baldwin de Redvers (died 1155), was created 1st Earl of Devon by the Empress Matilda during The Anarchy, probably in early 1141. Mary de Redvers, called "de Vernon" probably after the place of her birth, Vernon, a daughter of William de Redvers, 5th Earl of Devon (died 1217), married as her second husband Robert de Courtenay, whose mother was Hawise de Courci (died 1219), the heiress of the feudal barony of Okehampton. The 7th Redvers Earl died in 1262, without progeny, whereupon his sister, Isabella de Forz (died 1293), (Latinised to de Fortibus) the widow of William de Forz, 4th Earl of Albemarle, became Countess of Devon in her own right.
Isabella de Forz died in 1293 without surviving progeny and her heir was found to be her second cousin once removed, Hugh de Courtenay (1275/6-1340),feudal baron of Okehampton, the great-grandson of Robert de Courtenay by Mary de Vernon. He was summoned to Parliament in 1299 as Lord Courtenay, which created him a baron by writ, although he was already a feudal baron. In 1335 he was declared to be 1st Earl of Devon, of the second creation. Tiverton Castle was the principal seat of the Courtenay Earls of Devon throughout the mediaeval period including William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon whose wife Catherine of York was during her lifetime, daughter to Edward IV, sister to Edward V, niece to Richard III, sister-in-law to Henry VII and aunt to Henry VIII. However these connections did not save Catherine's son Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter, 2nd Earl of Devon (1498–1539) from being implicated in a plot and executed in 1539 by King Henry VIII. The Courtenays also held from the 13th-century Okehampton Castle, their original seat in England, and later built Colcombe Castle, both in Devon.
After the attainder and execution of Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter, 2nd Earl of Devon (1498–1539) in 1539, King Henry VIII granted Tiverton to John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, whom the contemporary historian John Leland stated to have been holding it, amongst his other vast possessions, in 1540.After the death of King Henry VIII, the manor and castle of Tiverton were granted by the infant King Edward VI (1547–1553) to his uncle and the Lord Protector of the kingdom, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (c. 1500–1552), apparently the result of an exchange of lands between Russell and Seymour. The Duke was executed in 1552 by his nephew the king, who re-granted the manor and castle to Sir Henry Gates (1515–1589), MP, gentleman usher of the privy chamber and brother of Sir John Gates, knighted at the coronation of Edward VI, whom he served as captain of the guard. Sir John was an associate of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland (1504–1553) and a supporter of the claim to the throne of his daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey and thus his brother Sir Henry Gates also fell under suspicion. On the accession of Queen Mary (1553–1558) in 1553 Sir Henry Gates was tried for treason and attainted but escaped execution. Later that year of 1553 he was pardoned, but his lands were not restored to him.
Queen Mary restored Tiverton to Edward Courtenay (d.1556), the only son of the executed Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter, 2nd Earl of Devon, and created him Earl of Devon, under a new creation.On the death in 1556 of Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1527–1556) (1st Earl of the 5th creation of the Earldom of Devon granted by Queen Mary), without progeny, the manor and Castle of Tiverton devolved to his distant cousins, descended from the four sisters of his great-grandfather Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (d.1509), KG. These sisters had married into the West Country families of Arundell of Talvern, Trethurfe, Mohun and Trelawney, and thus the Courtenay estates had been divided into four parts. Some of the heirs sold their shares.
One of the earliest purchasers of a share was Roger Giffard (1533-1603), who made Tiverton Castle his family home, and who was in the words of the Devonshire biographer John Prince "A worthy and eminent person, though it must be acknowledged the history of those actions which made him so is for the most part perished".
Roger Giffard was the 5th son of Sir Roger Giffard (d.1547), who was born at Halsbury, the family's ancient seat in the parish of Parkham, but who married the heiress of Brightley in the parish of Chittlehampton, Margaret Coblegh (d.1548), daughter and sole heiress of John Coblegh of Brightley, whose monumental brass can be seen in Chittlehampton Church. Margaret Coblegh brought many estates to the Giffards of Brightley, including Stowford Snape, Wollacombe Tracy (near Braunton, where her son Roger Giffard was baptised and married), Bremridge (near South Molton) and Nymet St George (George Nympton), of which she was seized at her death. John Giffard (d.1622) of Brightley, the nephew of Roger Giffard (d.1603) of Tiverton Castle, is commemorated by an effigy in Chittlehampton Church. The armorials of Giffard and Coblegh of Brightley are visible on this elaborate monument at Chittlehampton and also appear above the porch of Brightley Barton. These also appear on the mural monument in Tiverton Church to Roger Giffard (d.1603) of Tiverton Castle. The line of Giffard which remained at Halsbury still owned that estate in about 1630, according to the Devon historian Tristram Risdon who was writing at that time.Halsbury was sold by the Giffards to the Benson family and then to the Davie's of Orleigh Court, in the adjacent parish of Buckland Brewer. In about 1800 Joseph Davie Bassett sold the estates of Halsbury and Orleigh to Edward Lee.
Roger Giffard (d.1603) of Tiverton Castle married Audrey Stucley, daughter of Sir Hugh Stucley (1496-1560) who lived at Affeton Castle and his wife Jane Pollard, on 27 January 1563 at Braunton and was one of the feoffees under the will of Peter Blundell, the founder of Blundell's School in Tiverton. To this position were subsequently elected his son George Giffard in 1617, and his grandson Roger Giffard in 1633 .He purchased a quarter share of the manor of Tiverton, which was not incorporated as a town until 1615, and all the buildings comprising Tiverton Castle, which became known for a while as "Giffard's Court". He built the projecting tower porch situated within the courtyard in the angle where the gatehouse range meets the 17th-century north range, as evidenced by a date-stone set into the wall inscribed with the date "1588" and the initials "RG" (Roger Giffard). He lived through the devastating fire in Tiverton which broke out in the daytime of 3 April 1598 which killed 33 people, destroyed 400 houses and several chapels and destroyed merchandise valued at £150,000. His son George Giffard, named on his monument, was baptised at Braunton on 27 September 1564, matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford on 11 October 1583 aged 17 and died aged 58 on 26 June 1622. His son, named by Dunsford as Roger Giffard, died without male progeny and left a daughter his sole heiress who married Roger Burgoyne (or Burgoin, Esquire. In 1663 Burgoyne was elected feofee of Blundell's Charity to occupy the former position held by the Giffards. He had two sons Robert and William Burgoyne, who sold the Castle and their quarter of the manor of Tiverton to Peter West, Esquire, who made it his home and served as Sheriff of Devon in 1707.
In about 1605 Sir Reynell Mohunsold his quarter share to Mr John West (d.1630), a Tiverton merchant, whose monument exists in Tiverton Church. The West family had also purchased the Trelawney share. It appears that the Wests lived in the Castle until it was dismantled after the Civil War, but part was later rebuilt by the Wests for their residence.
On the death of John West, Esquire, in 1728, his family had amassed shares amounting to 6/8ths of the original manor, and as he died without male progeny, the property passed via one of his daughters and co-heiresses, Dorothy West, to her husband Sir Thomas Carew, 4th Baronet (c. 1692-c. 1746) of Haccombe. In 1822 Lysons wrote that the then possessor of the Castle was Sir Henry Carew, 7th Baronet (1779–1830) who had increased the family's share in the manor to 7/8ths, the additional 1/8th having been purchased by Dorothy, Lady Carew from the Rev. Mr Spurway, whose family had owned it for a considerable time. The Carews had seemingly let it to the tenant of the adjoining Barton, but it was repossessed and fitted up as a residence for Lady Carew, the mother of Sir Henry Carew, and it was her home in 1822 as reported by Lysons. The remaining 1/8th. in 1822 was held by Rev. Dr. Short, Archdeacon of Cornwall, who had purchased it from Edward Colman, Esquire, Serjeant of Arms to the House of Lords, whose family lived locally at Gornhay and had held the share for more than two hundred years.
Carews descendants sold Tiverton Castle in 1923 and following various changes of ownership, it was purchased in 1960 by Ivar Campbell, whose nephew Angus Campbell inherited it in 1985.
Earl of Devon is a title that has been created several times in the Peerage of England. It was possessed first by the Redvers family, and later by the Courtenay family. It is not to be confused with the title of Earl of Devonshire, which is held by the Duke of Devonshire, although the letters patent for the creation of the latter peerages used the same Latin words, Comes Devon(iae). It was a re-invention, if not an actual continuation, of the pre-Conquest office of Ealdorman of Devon.
Earl of Halsbury, in the County of Devon, was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Halsbury is a historic manor in the parish of Parkham, near Bideford, Devon, long the seat of the Giffard family and sold by them in the 18th. century. The title was created on 19 January 1898 for the lawyer and Conservative politician Hardinge Giffard, 1st Baron Halsbury, and son of Stanley Lees Giffard, the first editor of the Evening Standard newspaper. Hardinge Giffard was Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain from 1885 to 1886, 1886 to 1892 and 1895 to 1905, and had already been created Baron Halsbury, of Halsbury in the County of Devon, on 26 June 1885, and was made Viscount Tiverton, of nearby Tiverton, at the same time he was given the earldom. Those titles were also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. He was descended from the family of Giffard of Brightley, Chittlehampton, a junior line of Gifford of Halsbury. A younger son of the first of the Brightley family was Roger Giffard (d.1603) who purchased Tiverton Castle which he made his home. The 1st Earl in fact had no close connection with Halsbury, as the closest of his ancestors born there was Sir Roger Giffard of Brightley (d.1547) and even less with Tiverton, the home of none of his ancestors but only of a very distant cousin, but nevertheless chose these places as his titles.
Arlington was a manor, and is a village and civil parish in the North Devon district of Devon in England. The parish includes the villages of Arlington and Arlington Beccott. The population of the parish is 98.
Chittlehampton is a village and civil parish in the North Devon district of Devon, England. The parish is surrounded clockwise from the north by the parishes of Swimbridge, Filleigh, South Molton, Satterleigh and Warkleigh, High Bickington, Atherington, and Bishop's Tawton. According to the 2001 census, the parish had a population of 820. There is an electoral ward of the same name. In the 2011 census this ward had a population of 2,255.
Halsbury is a historic manor in the parish of Parkham in North Devon, England. It is situated 2 miles north-east of the village of Parkham and 4 miles south-west of the town of Bideford. Halsbury was long a seat of the ancient Giffard family, a distant descendant of which was the celebrated lawyer Hardinge Stanley Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury (1823–1921), who adopted the name Halsbury for his earldom and was the author of the essential legal reference books Halsbury's Statutes. Halsbury Barton, now a farmhouse, retains 16th- and 17th-century elements of the former manor house of the Giffard family. It was described in a record of 1560 as a "new dwelling house".
William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, feudal baron of Okehampton and feudal baron of Plympton, was a member of the leading noble family of Devon. His principal seat was Tiverton Castle, Devon with further residences at Okehampton Castle and Colcombe Castle, also in that county.
Edward de Courtenay, 3rd/11th Earl of Devon, known by the epithet the "Blind Earl", was the son of Sir Edward de Courtenay and Emeline Dawnay, and in 1377 succeeded his grandfather, Hugh Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon, as Earl of Devon. The ordinal number given to the early Courtenay Earls of Devon depends on whether the earldom is deemed a new creation by the letters patent granted 22 February 1334/5 or whether it is deemed a restitution of the old dignity of the de Redvers family. Authorities differ in their opinions, and thus alternative ordinal numbers exist, given here.
Tapeley is a historic estate in the parish of Westleigh in North Devon, England.
Weare Giffard is a small village, civil parish and former manor in the Torridge district, in north Devon. The church and manor house are situated 2 1/2 miles NW of Great Torrington in Devon. Most of the houses within the parish are situated some 1/2-mile east of the church. The church is situated on a hillside to the north and slightly above the wide and flat valley floor of the River Torridge. The Church of the Holy Trinity and the adjacent Weare Giffard Hall are designated members of the Grade I listed buildings in Devon.
Brightley was historically the principal secondary estate within the parish and former manor of Chittlehampton in the county of Devon, England, situated about 2 1/4 miles south-west of the church and on a hillside above the River Taw. From the early 16th century to 1715 it was the seat of the Giffard family, whose mansion house occupied the moated site immediately to the west of the present large farmhouse known as Brightley Barton, a Grade II listed building which incorporates some elements of the earlier house. It is not to be confused with the 12th-century Brightley Priory near Okehampton.
Colonel John Giffard (1602–1665), of Brightley in the parish of Chittlehampton, Devon, England, was a Royalist leader during the Civil War. Giffard commanded the Devon Pikemen at the Battle of Lansdowne in 1643, in which his 3rd cousin the Royalist commander of the Cornish forces Sir Bevil Grenville (1596-1643) was killed in heroic circumstances. Giffard's loyalty to the Royalist cause led to him being proposed in 1660 as a knight of the intended Order of the Royal Oak. He was personally known to the biographer John Prince (1643–1723) who included him as one of his Worthies of Devon. He was buried in Chittlehampton Church, where his small kneeling effigy survives on the base of the monument he erected in 1625 to his grandfather.
Sir Hugh Courtenay of Boconnoc in Cornwall, was twice a Member of Parliament for Cornwall in 1446–47 and 1449–50. He was beheaded after the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, together with John Courtenay, 7th Earl of Devon, the grandson of his first cousin the 4th Earl, and last in the senior line, whose titles were forfeited. His son Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, was created Earl of Devon in 1485 by King Henry VII, following the Battle of Bosworth and the closure of the Wars of the Roses.
The feudal barony of Okehampton was a very large feudal barony, the largest mediaeval fiefdom in the county of Devon, England, whose caput was Okehampton Castle and manor. It was one of eight feudal baronies in Devonshire which existed during the mediaeval era.
Bremridge is a historic estate within the former hundred of South Molton in Devon, England. It is now within the parish of Filleigh but was formerly in that of South Molton. It is situated 8 miles north-west of South Molton. Since the construction of the nearby A361 North Devon Link Road direct access has been cut off from Bremridge to Filleigh and South Molton. The surviving wing of the mansion house built in 1654 is a Grade II* listed building. Bremridge Wood is the site of an Iron Age enclosure or hill fort, the earthwork of which is situated on a hillside forming a promontory above the River Bray. In Bremridge Wood survives a disused tunnel of the former Great Western Railway line between South Molton and Barnstaple, much of the course of which has been used for the A361. The tunnel is 319 yards long and was identified as "Bremridge Tunnel" in the 1889 Ordnance Survey map but as "Castle Hill Tunnel" in subsequent editions.
Mohuns Ottery or Mohun's Ottery, is a house and historic manor in the parish of Luppitt, 1 mile south-east of the village of Luppitt and 4 miles north-east of Honiton in east Devon, England. From the 14th to the 16th centuries it was a seat of the Carew family. Several manorial court rolls survive at the Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton, Somerset.
Hawkridge in the parish of Chittlehampton in North Devon, England, is an historic estate, anciently the seat of a junior branch of the Acland family which originated at nearby Acland, in the parish of Landkey and later achieved great wealth and prominence as the Acland Baronets of Killerton, near Exeter. The former mansion house is today a farmhouse known as Hawkridge Barton, a grade II* listed building. The Devon historian Hoskins (1959) stated of Hawkridge: "Externally there is nothing remarkable except a decaying avenue of ancient walnuts, so often the first indication of a 16th or 17th century mansion". The interior contains a fine plaster heraldic overmantel showing the arms of Acland impaling Tremayne, representing the 1615 marriage of Baldwin Acland (1593–1659) of Hawkridge and Elizabeth Tremayne.
Upcott is an historic manor in the parish of Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon. The manor house, known as Upcott Barton is a mediaeval grade II* listed building notorious in the history of Devon as the place where in 1455 the murder of the lawyer Nicholas Radford by a mob directed by the Earl of Devon during the Wars of the Roses took place. In the grounds is a reproduction of an Iron Age roundhouse built circa 2014.
Trethurffe is an historic estate in the parish of Ladock, near Truro, in Cornwall.
Hall in the parish of Lanteglos-by-Fowey in Cornwall, England, is an historic estate, most prominent as the seat of a branch of the Mohun family of Dunster Castle in Somerset. The family of Mohun of Hall was also seated at Bodinnick also in the parish of Lanteglos-by-Fowey and later at Boconnoc, both in Cornwall, and was one of the four co-heirs of Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1527–1556), feudal baron of Okehampton, etc., of Tiverton Castle, Okehampton Castle, etc., the last of the mediaeval Courtenay Earls of Devon. In recognition of this in 1628 the senior representative of the Mohun family of Hall was created Baron Mohun of Okehampton, namely John Mohun, 1st Baron Mohun of Okehampton (1595-1641) eldest son and heir of Sir Reginald Mohun, 1st Baronet (1564–1639) of Boconnoc. The family of Mohun of Hall died out in the male line in 1712, following the death in a celebrated duel of Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun of Okehampton (1677-1712), who died without progeny. However, the family had long out-lived the senior Dunster line which died out in the male line in 1375, following the death of John de Mohun, 2nd Baron Mohun, KG, (c.1320-1375). Two monumental brasses survive in Lanteglos church to members of the Mohun family of Hall, namely Thomas Mohun and John Mohun (d.1508).
The manor of Haccombe was a historic manor in the small parish of Haccombe, near the town of Newton Abbot, Devon, England. It was the seat of important branches of the Courtenay and Carew families.