About Castle Drogo
The rather deceptive Castle Drogo in Devon has all the appearances of a medieval castle, yet was actually constructed in the early 20th century! With all the features and furnishings of a great stronghold, it is said to be the last castle built in England, and provides an intriguing visit for history lovers and casual tourists alike.
Castle Drogo history
Built to resemble an imposing medieval fortress, Castle Drogo was the creation of businessman, retailer and entrepreneur Julius Drewe. Drewe had made his fortune at a young age through the Home and Colonial Stores retail chain, and wished to have his family home built with all the style and grandeur of a medieval lord.
Designed by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, construction of the castle began in 1911 and was completed by 1930, taking a total 20 years to complete due to delays surrounding World War One and the Great Depression. The site on which the castle was built was chosen on what Drewe believed was the land of his medieval ancestor, Drogo de Teigne, after whom the castle is named.
In a perfectly succinct summary of Castle Drogo, architectural critic Christopher Hussey once quipped: ‘The ultimate justification of Drogo is that it does not pretend to be a castle. It is a castle, as a castle is built, of granite, on a mountain, in the twentieth century’.
In 1974, Drewe heir Anthony and his son Christopher gave Castle Drogo to the National Trust, making it the first 20th century property they had acquired.
Castle Drogo today
Today, Castle Drogo remains under the management of the National Trust and is open to the public. At its stunning setting above the Teign Gorge, visitors can tour the castle’s updated layout and newly displayed historic treasures.
With design styles borrowed from the medieval and Tudor periods, both the castle’s exterior and interior features offer an intriguing visit, intertwined with all the modernity of the 20th century. A viewing tower may be climbed offering fantastic views of the surrounding area, while its expansive grounds and gardens also feature a range of pleasant flowers and plants to admire.
Getting to Castle Drogo
Castle Drogo is located in Drewsteignton near Exeter in Devon, 5 miles south of the A30. Parking is available 400m from the site. The nearest train station is Yeoford, 8 miles away, while the Dartline Coaches Bus service 173 from Exeter drops off at the bottom of Castle Drogo’s drive.
In addition to its sandy beaches, ancient coastline and scenic national parks, Devon is home to a number of famed historic sites which attest to its colourful history. Here's our pick of 10 of the best.