Imagine Bickleigh Castle in centuries past - its 6th century chapel which is regarded as Devon's oldest building, armoury, magnificent Great Hall, Tudor bedroom and picturesque moated grounds.
Bickleigh Castle is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and played a key role in the union of two great Devon families. Its history is every bit as gripping as any romantic novel.
The book "Princes Worthies of Devon", which gives the history of key men through the ages, states:
'Bickleigh, a strong hold, moated and turreted …came to be settled upon Humphrey, the youngest son of Sir Philip Courtenay, who dying in 1496, before his father left his orphaned daughter Elizabeth and heir, the husband of Princess Katherine, sister of Henry 7th Aunt of Henry 8th to the care of her grandfather Sir Philip.'
'Sir Philip Courtenay entrusted her over unto Sir William Carew who had married his eldest son's daughter.'
'Sir William and his wife took up their residence at Bickleigh with their ward and often living with them was Mr Thomas Carew, his younger brother who became very familiar with this young fortune, courted her, and won her good will; which having obtained "he secretly by night - carried her away and married her," much to the displeasure of Sir Philip her grandfather and Sir William his brother!'
Eventually the Courtenays transferred ownership of Bickleigh Castle to the Carew family who retained it peacefully for the next four hundred years.
For more information about Bickleigh Castle's fascinating history or to participate in a history tour please contact the Castle on: 01884 855 363