Totnes Castle

Schools

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. 

Information about your visit

Our number one priority remains the health, safety and security of all of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Our staff are still working hard to keep everyone safe and make sure you and your group have an enjoyable visit.

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’re continuing to limit visitor numbers at some sites and in some indoor spaces. Please book as soon as possible to secure your preferred trip date and times.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit and make sure you download our COVID risk assessments; download a free copy of managing education visits during the pandemic and if you're participating in a Discovery Visit download our managing Discovery Visits during the pandemic risk assessment
  • To make the planning process as easy as possible, make sure you check our Plan Your School Trip section at the bottom of this page, for updated information on the facilities at the site as well as our free resources.
  • You’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our terms and conditions for full details.
  • Although is it not a requirement, any teachers, parents, or students aged 16 years can check in via the NHS Test and Trace app, using the NHS QR code posters displayed at the site entrance. Please factor this into your travel/arrival time. For more information about how we are handling your personal data for NHS Test and Trace please visit this page.
  • Our staff are continuing to wear a face covering in our busy areas and indoor spaces, and we encourage you and your group to do the same where possible.

At some sites you might not be able to use our handling collections or costumes as part of a free self-led visit, but where we can provide hands-on items in a safe way we will. We’ve adapted our Discovery Visit workshops to keep you and your group safe at all times, but for certain sessions we’re still working on this – please check the Discovery Visit section and Facilities section on this page below for further information.

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.

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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
    • CASTLE: The Keep and Moat walk are open with a one-system in operation; we ask that you split into small groups to access the Keep. Narrow stairways require careful negotiation to maintain social distancing.
    • PARKING: There is no car or coach parking on the site. Parking is available in the town centre car parks – charges apply.
    • 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: The shop sells a range of English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. Please bring your students in supervised small groups.
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