Castle and Church
Originally known as Hawleyʼs Fortalice , Dartmouth Castle was built in 1400 by the then mayor of Dartmouth, John Hawley, and interesting and controversial figure, often thought to be the prototype of the flamboyant 'Shipman' in Chaucerʼs Canterbury Tales. Since then it has undergone many changes, and very little of the original fortalice remains.
Between 1481 - 1495 the present Gun Tower was built, probably the earliest surviving English coastal fortress purpose-built to mount 'ship-sinking' heavy cannon. Open-air gun platforms and other additions were made during the 16th century by Henry VIII and there were further improvements in the 17th century in order to accommodate new military technology.
From the river
However it is the 19th century Old Battery which remained in military use throughout the First and Second World Wars that now forms the most substantial part of the remaining castle.
Unusually the church of St Petrox sits right in the middle of the fortifications in a way vaguely reminiscent of St Michaels Mount.
For opening times, admission prices, etc. please go to the English Heritage web site detailed below.