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Hemyock Castle
Ancient Heart of the Blackdowns


Our Heritage Open Day 12 September 2021

Picture of Hemyock Castle Gatehouse

QR Code: Our HODs2020 YouTube videos -~- QR Code: Our Hemyock Castle Facebook page

For 2021, we offered limited physical access to the castle grounds, as well as new online YouTube videos. Over 50 people were able to visit. They made generous donations to the Musgrove Leukaemic Group Somerset


1. Physical Tours of Hemyock Castle, Sunday 12th September 2021, 2 to 5pm

Please book using the email address:
ad min 3 at hemyock castle dotu k

a. Main Tours: 2pm, 3pm, 4pm. Free pre-booked self-guided open-air tours of Hemyock Castle site, cider-press & farmyard displays, mostly outdoors with some access to buildings. Approx. 10 bookings per hour.

b. Quieter Hour: 1 to 2pm. There was also be a special quieter hour for vulnerable visitors.

c. Additional Tour: 5pm. In response to high demand.

Onsite parking was available only for pre-booked disabled access. Otherwise, parking was on the street or in the village carpark near the Baptist Church.

Self-guiding leaflets can be downloaded free in PDF format from https://www.hemyockcastle.uk/visitor.html

Our new guidebook is available in Kindle format from Amazon (free Kindle reading apps are available for most devices), and as a nicely printed version from Hemyock Castle for 2 Pounds (cash only).


Covid Precautions – May Change at Short Notice

If any of your party have recently had or been in contact with Covid-19, please do not visit our site.

To allow more space, it will be mostly outdoors, with fewer visitors, less onsite parking & a one-way system. Some access to our indoor displays such as the Interpretation Centre, where there will be extra ventilation. Please make sure that all members of your party, including children, observe social distancing. There will be no need to touch anything, but please bring your own hand sanitizer etc.

In line with current regulations, all visitors will be required to provide contact details on entry. These will be kept securely, used only by NHS Track & Trace, destroyed when no longer required (currently after 21 days). Please bring a pen.

We hope that these simple precautions will allow visitors to have a safe, enjoyable visit.


St Mary's Church just across the stream next to Hemyock Castle, is also planning an open day on 12th Sep 2021. They plan to have a special exhibition & to offer teas.


2. Online Video Tours

Our special playlist of our YouTube videos includes new videos: Free-to-view on demand via the Internet using PC / Mac, smartphone, tablet or smart TV. No need to book or log in, except to ask questions. "Subscribe" (free) to the RichardSheppard1 YouTube channel for reminders etc. This channel also has the YouTube ID: richard2s

Tip: Use our special YouTube playlist and click YouTube's "Play All" option, to avoid being diverted by YouTube.

These will remain online for later replays. We hope you enjoy our videos. Click this for how to watch our YouTube videos on a modern TV

Click this for our special HODs2021 YouTube playlist or type the shortened link: bit.ly/234hhhh or use the special QR code shown above.


These online videos are delivered over the Internet using the free YouTube service. The videos & replays can be viewed without needing any special software, a YouTube account, or having to log in; except for questions. They can be viewed using a PC / Mac, tablet, smartphone, or modern TV etc. However, "subscribing" (free) to our YouTube channel will bring automatic notifications and also make our videos easier to find in the YouTube app on a modern TV.

Asking questions directly, does require a free YouTube account (you do NOT need to upload any videos to your account).

Note. Use the free "YouTube app" NOT the paid "YouTube TV app" which is for viewing commercial programs.

Caution: Please take the usual care when using the Internet:


Tips for watching our YouTube videos on a modern TV:

These videos can be viewed using most PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones, modern TVs etc. YouTube has been chosen so that visitors do not need to download special software or log into an account. Here are some tips for viewing these videos using a modern TV which is connected to the Internet – But written by someone who does not have access to a modern TV! – Different TVs may work slightly differently.

Most modern TVs provide a YouTube app, which can be reached either by a dedicated button or via the Internet apps (normally reached by a button marked with a globe). For these to work, the TV must be connected to an Internet broadband router, either by WiFi or an Ethernet cable. The TV's instructions should explain.

The YouTube app probably provides the best experience, but its on-screen keyboard makes searching difficult.

The video playing buttons on the TV's remote control should control replay of YouTube videos, including providing a way to fast-forward.

Alternatively, it should be possible to view YouTube videos using the TV's Internet app: Its web browser. This has a better on-screen keyboard and may also work with a external keyboard connected to the TV's USB socket.


Alternative Ways to View YouTube Videos on a TV:



Hemyock Castle is set in the now tranquil Culm Valley within the beautiful Blackdown Hills in Devon, just a few miles from the M5 Motorway and Taunton. The rare surviving ruins of Hemyock's moated medieval castle are a scheduled Ancient Monument. The remaining gatehouse archway, towers & curtain-walls surround the older manor house. Although situated in the heart of Hemyock village, the castle site is screened by trees and walls, so surprisingly little can be seen from the road.

Normally, visitors can follow the trail around the moated Medieval castle ruins and view displays illustrating 700 years of the site's history. Because of Covid-19, for 2021 we are instead providing special online YouTube video tours

In 1380, King Richard II granted a licence to crenellate the older fortified manor house; effectively giving "planning permission" for the castle. During the English Civil War the castle was garrisoned for Parliament against King Charles I. There were after two brutal sieges. Royalist captives were imprisoned until either they changed sides or were ransomed by their friends. Therefore, when King Charles II was restored to the throne he ordered the castle be "slighted" – its walls and towers were breached so that it could never again be held against the King. Later, the old manor house became a farm house, the old castle buildings were adapted, and the ruins were "quarried" for stone. For the next 300 years until the early 1970s, Hemyock Castle was Castle Farm.

Most of the ruins were not "restored" by later owners, so they date from the original castle defences. A large part of the Eastern gatehouse archway remains, together with parts of some towers, curtain-walls & moat. Visitors also see the Interpretation Centre & other displays. The manor house and some other buildings are private homes, so are not open to visitors.


Heritage Open Days are part of European Heritage Days, a Council of Europe initiative. They are co-ordinated by The National Trust with funding by players of People's Postcode Lottery. Heritage Open Days activities will take place throughout England from 10th to 19th September 2021, with different events on the different days.

Hemyock Castle receives no funding, and makes no charge for entry or events during our Heritage Open Days. We welcome donations to The Blackdown Support Group & Musgrove Leukaemic Group Somerset


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Hemyock Castle, Hemyock, CULLOMPTON, Devon, EX15 3RJ, UK.
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