Dartmouth Castle - English Heritage

Dartmouth Castle - English Heritage
Castle Road




01803 833588


01803 834 445

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Dartmouth Castle
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One of the most picturesquely-sited fortresses in England. For over 600 years Dartmouth Castle has guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary and the busy, vibrant port of Dartmouth.

This fascinating complex of defences was begun in 1388 by John Hawley, privateering Mayor of Dartmouth and the prototype of the flamboyant 'Shipman' in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. About a century later the townsmen added the imposing and well-preserved 'gun tower', probably the very first fortification in Britain purpose-built to mount 'ship-sinking' heavy cannon. Climb to the top for breathtaking views across the estuary and see how it could be blocked in wartime by a heavy chain.

Visiting Dartmouth? Complete your day out with a picturesque river boat trip to the castle from the town quay, landing you a minute's walk from the castle.

Venue Type:

Heritage site, Castle or defences

Opening hours

1-31 Oct daily 10am-4pm, 1 Nov-31 Mar Sat-Sun 10am-4pm, Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan

Admission charges



  • English Heritage
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Pirates Invade!

  • 28 — 29 July 2014 11am-5pm *on now
  • 4 — 5 August 2014 11am-5pm
  • 11 — 12 August 2014 11am-5pm
  • 18 — 19 August 2014 11am-5pm

Arr me hearties! The castle is under attack from a fearsome bunch of pirates from the famous ship La Grand Derriere. Hear the bang of muskets and see history brought to life as the pirates show off their weapons and weave fantastical tales of shameless skulduggery.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly