Saturday, 26 March 2016

Days Out In Devon: Berry Pomeroy Castle

'Can we visit a castle?' asked Louis. It's an easy wish to grant. There are four within a ten mile radius of our home which must mean that Devon was rather a fighty place in the olden days.  Until yesterday I'd only visited the one at Totnes, which I can see from my office window. Now I've got another under the belt. We chose Berry Pomeroy as it is reputed to be the one of the most haunted places in Britain.  Wooooo! There's several badly made ghost hunting videos by local yoofs on YouTube.  You'll get the gist if you have a look at this pretty underwhelming example.  Don't hold your breath!

I've heard it said that electronic devices can stop working during a visit to the castle.   As a precaution I delved into the pool of knowledge that I've acquired from hanging out in one of the most hippy towns in the country and imagined a  protective white light around my mobile. It was  rather like that Colgate ring of confidence.  After all I find it easy enough to trash phones on my own without any supernatural interference so I need all the help that I can get.  Louis was rather scathing.  That hocus pocus stuff doesn't wash with him.  He is a scientist through and through.

Many folks around here are familiar with Berry Pomeroy as it's on the busiest ratrun between Torbay and the South Hams.  The castle isn't visible from the village.  It's tucked away in a valley which is reached by a single track road.  In spite of being a ruin it's absolutely stunning. There are remains of building works from three different periods.  The earliest castle was a proper fortification but then two successive rebuilds turned it into the ultimate 17th century des res fit for a visit from Queen Elizabeth I.  Sadly this never happened.  The queen was too old to travel by the time the place was swanky enough for her.

This is  the bottom room of St Margaret's tower in one of the oldest parts of the castle.   It's supposed to be haunted by Eleanor Pomeroy, who fell in love with the same guy that her sister, Margaret, fancied. The story becomes like the Tudor equivalent of something from the Jeremy Kyle show.  I'd say that  Margaret slightly over-reacted.  After all she was reported to have been the prettier sister and so the odds might have been in her favour without any drastic action being necessary.  She imprisoned Eleanor here in this dungeon where she endured a gruesome and slow death from starvation. That taught her!  I wonder Margaret melted the heart of the bloke as a consequence of her actions.

I'd hoped to have been able to show off lots more pictures of the castle.  It is incredibly photogenic.  But get this!  My phone konked out just as after this picture was taken. No!!!!  Okay the battery has been a bit dodgy for a while but I prefer to believe that the strange forces were at play.  Perhaps Eleanor's ghost, the White Lady,  is camera shy and didn't want her spooky image appearing in any shots.   Thankfully the malfunction was only temporary as a good long charge sorted the problem out. Maybe my little protective ritual was effective after all!

6 comments:

  1. Spookeh!! You have just been on one of my absolute favourite days out ever. Castling! Never been to this one, though if we make it down south again for our hols, it'll be on my to do list X

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    1. It's a cracker. Just take an old phone/camera! xx

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  2. Nothing better than old stories to go with old places. Please visit more castles with Louis and share the tales.

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    1. Dartmouth Castle is planned before the end of the Easter break. Watch this space! x

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  3. That brought back fond memories - thank you :)

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