Totnes Castle


Cover a range of curriculum objectives with a visit to Totnes Castle. Originally a Norman motte and bailey castle, a shell keep and curtain wall were added later. Now, the site offers an opportunity to learn more about medieval life and how and why castles were built and defended. 

Curriculum links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Totnes Castle will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the key stages.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality
  • KS2 History:  A local history study. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: Development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509

Free Self-Led Visits

Book a free self-led visit to Totnes Castle and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Climb the steps to the castle keep to understand its context in the landscape, with views across the Saxon town of Totnes and the River Dart. Explore the shell keep, built to replace an earlier motte and bailey castle, and see if you can spot the defensive arrow slits and battlements. Walk around the outside wall of the castle to see the steep sided ditch and bank which were part of the original castle defences, enjoy a picnic lunch in the bailey and look out for the graffiti carved on the tree by prisoners during the Second World War.

Find out more

Plan your visit

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip.

We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team are on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: There is limited Pay and Display parking 64 metres away, at 'North Street for Historic Town Centre', which is suitable for cars only. It is not managed by English Heritage. There is an easy route from main town car parks to site.
    • TOILETS: There are no toilets on site. The nearest public facilities are in the Market Square (off Totnes High Street).
    • FOOD AND DRINK: You are welcome to bring a picnic. There are a few picnic tables with benches in the Bailey, sheltered by mature trees.
    • SHOP:   There is a small shop selling a selection of English Heritage gifts and cold drinks. We recommend bringing your students in small groups at a time
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There is no disabled parking at the site but disabled visitors may be set down at the entrance. The Inner Bailey is accessible to wheelchair users; however the Motte and Keep cannot be accessed by wheelchairs due to the steep slope and stone steps.
  • Find out more


  • School visits from September 2020

    Education bookings for learners of all ages and abilities will be open from 31 August, and you’ll be able to book for visits from September 2020 to March 2021. If you already have a booking with us in that time, we’ll be in touch over the next few weeks.

    In the meantime if you have a query related to an existing booking or would like more information please email

    We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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