Berry Pomeroy Castle, a Tudor mansion within the walls of an earlier castle, is near The Village of Berry Pomeroy, in South Devon, England. It was built in the late 15th century by the Pomeroy family which had held the land since the 11th century. By 1547 the family was in financial difficulties and sold the lands to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. Apart from a short period of forfeit to the Crown after Edward's execution, the castle has remained in the Seymour family ever since, although it was abandoned in the late 17th century when the fourth baronet moved to Wiltshire.
After lying in ruins for a hundred years, in the 19th century the castle became celebrated as an example of the "picturesque", and it became a popular tourist attraction, a status which it retains today—aided by its reputation of being haunted. Between 1980 and 1996 the castle was subjected to extensive archaeological excavations that clarified much of its history and overturned previously held beliefs regarding its age and cause of destruction.
Berry Pomeroy Castle is located about a mile north-east of the village of Berry Pomeroy in South Devon. It occupies a limestone outcrop that overlooks The Deep, wooded, narrow valley of the Gatcombe Brook.
Legends and Ghosts:
There are a number of legends associated with the castle, and according to the English Heritage guidebook, it "is reputed to be one of the most haunted castles in Britain." Two female ghosts are said to haunt the castle: the White Lady, and The Blue Lady. The Blue Lady is said to beckon for help from passers-by, luring them to her tower. If they go to her, it is said they fall to their death. She is thought to have been the daughter of a Norman lord and is said to wander the dungeons mourning the loss of her baby, which she murdered as it was sired by her own father. The White Lady, said to be the spirit of Margaret Pomeroy, is claimed to haunt the dungeons, having been imprisoned there by her sister, Eleanor, who was jealous of her beauty. Their stories often blur together.
Today the castle is a Grade I listed building. It is still owned by the Duke of Somerset, though it is administered by English Heritage.
The castle is approached by a modern half-mile long wooded drive that runs alongside the original drive which is visible as an earthwork in the adjacent woods. The main carpark is in the quarry that was the source of much of the slate used for the Pomeroy buildings.