The Older Castle
The older of the two castles was built very soon after the Norman conquest of AD 1066 on a splendidly defensible site high above Lydford gorge with the land falling steeply away from it on two sides towards the river. Though only the earthworks remain, its superb position and stunning views over Dartmoor.
(deep drops and steep stone staircases within the walls of the castle.). built in AD l l 95 at a reported cost of £32, is a three-storey tower. The bottom storey has been buried under a grass-covered mound of earth so that the castle appears to have been built on a small hill. However, when entering the ruined and roofless tower, you can see the massively thick walls of the lowest floor, much thicker than the walls of the two upper floors, and climb down to the now underground level. Behind the tower, or keep, are the earth-covered banks which were the base of the walls which formerly surrounded a large courtyard. Visitors can easily imagine that, during the Middle Ages when this castle was used as a court of law and as a notorious prison, it was an intimidating and very nasty place.