Castle Drogo – The last castle built in England, tourist information, pictures, videos and walks
Castle Drogo is an intriguing building where ‘nothing is normal’ according to the National Trust who now owns and manages it. Castle Drogo was the last castle to be built in England between 1910 and 1930 by the renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. He designed the castle for Julius Drewe who was a self-made millionaire through buying and selling tea under the name ‘Home and Colonial Stores’ and could retire early due to his endeavours.
Unfortunately, the building has been suffering from damp conditions and is now under a conservation project until 2017 to make it watertight. This hasn’t stopped the flow of visitors however, as the National Trust has turned the castle into an attraction of art installations, exhibitions and a behind the scenes view of the project work.
'Map of Truths and Beliefs' by Grayson Perry in Castle Drogo
One of the interesting exhibitions for 2016 houses two incredible tapestries – Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry’s ‘Map of Truths and Beliefs’ alongside the 17th Century Gobelins ‘Le Char de Triomphe’. The former took 1 day to complete and the latter took 3 years, thus this rare opportunity to compare and contrast both tapestries and methods is not to be missed.
17th Century Gobelins ‘Le Char de Triomphe’
Cool gadgets in Castle Drogo
There are rooms and family objects still on display to the public and as you walk around the castle, you can still get a sense of its magnificence. On the cusp of technology advances, this 20th Century castle is different to other stately homes and castles as you can see Julius’ love for modern gadgets such as an impressive house telephone exchange system. Castle Drogo is not an ordinary castle at the moment but is still worth exploring and definitely going back to when the conservation work is over.
The garden at Castle Drogo
The terraced formal gardens were designed in a modern way for the time but are strategically situated away from the castle which allowed the Drewe family some private time. There are other aspects of the garden that reflect family life such as the rose garden dedicated to Julius’ wife Frances’ favourite flower, a circular croquet and tennis lawn for summer fun and a small ‘Bunty House’ with its own miniature garden for his daughter Frances to play with. The garden is beautiful and calming to wander around at any time of the year.
Castle Drogo Estate
From the castle, there are many walks around the estate with views across Dartmoor or down into the Teign gorge. There is a fantastic 1 mile walk with ‘Gorge-ous’ views as the National Trust describes it. It journeys across Piddledown Common onto a short steep slope to Hunters path at which point you can stop and admire the view from Sharp Tor. The dramatic tor is an unfenced drop and has a panoramic view across Dartmoor and back towards the castle – a great spot for a picnic! After taking the atmosphere in, head up the steps and back towards the castle. There is a postcard map of this walk available at the reception area.
How to get to Castle Drogo
The postcode for Castle Drogo is: EX6 6PB
Full address: Drewsteignton, near Exeter, Devon
Castle Drogo is approximately 5 miles south of A30 easily accessible from A382
Car Park - Yes
Nearest station is Yeoford which is 8 miles away.
Castle Drogo entrance fees (whole property)
Adult – £9.00
Child - £4.45
Family - £22.50
Group Adult - £8.35
Group Child - £4.25
Adult - £5.70
Child - £3.10
Prices correct as of April 2016. Please visit official web page for Castle Drogo by National Trust for most recent information at:
Video of Castle Drogo - interior, garden, surrounding walks, Tors and views across Dartmoor National Park