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

A visit to one of our sites will inspire your students and bring your teaching to life. We'd like to reassure you that we're following Government guidance to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible. 

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’ve introduced limits on visitor numbers and school groups, so please bear this in mind when booking your trip.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit, which also includes our Covid 19 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.
  • As usual, you’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our Terms and Conditions for full details.
  • English Heritage are legally required to request and record the contact details of customers and visitors aged 16 years and over. The information that you provide will only be shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested. For more information and for details of our safety measures, please see our what to expect page.

We’re continually updating our education offer in line with government guidance.  Most of our English Heritage sites are now open, including indoor spaces and cafes.  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 follow government guidelines, but for certain sessions this hasn’t been possible – please check our schools webpages for further information.

There may be areas of our sites which are closed, so please check what’s available for your school group on our property webpages and with our booking team.  They can put you in touch with our Education Visits Officers who can offer help and guidance, so you can make the most of your school trip.

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.

Enquire now

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: Limited access to the Keep and moat walk: these can only be access only when guided tours are not taking place.
    • 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) and are currently open.
    • 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 will be open, but there will be limits on the number of people allowed in. Please bring your students in supervised small groups of 5 at a time. A one-way route may also be in place.
    • FACE COVERINGS: Face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces, including in our exhibitions, shops, cafés and tea rooms. We won’t be able to give you a face covering, so please come prepared so you don’t miss out.
  • Enquire now

  • School visits academic year 2020-21

    In line with government guidance, we’re pleased to confirm we’re now taking bookings online.

    Our COVID-secure measures will remain in place until all restrictions are lifted.  Visitor numbers are limited, and all bookings must be made at least 14 days in advance.

    English Heritage are legally required to request and record the contact details of customers and visitors aged 16 years and over.  The information that you provide will only be shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested.  For more information and for details of our safety measures, please see our what to expect page.

    Due to the current situation we can’t answer calls as quickly as we’d like to. If you’d like more information about a site, email us and we’ll put you in touch with an Education Visits Officer.

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