Access to the interior of the Castle is by guided tour only (we may run free-flow access during peak times, this being school holidays. Being a 600 year old castle, Powderham has limited accessibility. There is a wheelchair available for use inside the castle only.
All new tours for 2018
For the very first time since Powderham opened to visitors in 1957, the tour routes and the tales told of Devon’s 600-year-old family home are changing. After years of study and with input from Universities of Exeter, Plymouth and Pennsylvania, Charlie and AJ (the new Earl and Countess of Devon) are excited to launch this fresh telling of the ancient and unique Powderham story.
This season, visitors to Powderham will be offered a choice of two distinct and very different tours, both within a single ticket price.
The State Room Tour guides guests through the gardens, the grange and the grandest rooms of the Castle – the public face of Powderham. Visitors explore chronologically Powderham’s illustrious architectural history, from its medieval foundation, through Civil War sieges, Georgian, Rococo and Regency expansion, to its dramatic neo-Gothic culmination. All of this via secret doors, long libraries and even a hidden ballroom.
The Upstairs/Downstairs Tour offers a different view – Powderham as a private home of the Courtenay family and their staff for over 600 years. Charlie and AJ invite visitors into never-before-seen family bedrooms, and offer a host of intimate and personal insights, spooky stories, and winding staircases used for generations. Please note, this tour may be unsuitable for those of limited mobility as it includes narrow passageways and staircases.
To accompany the new tour routes, Charlie has re-written the guidebook as well, sharing for the first time his own stories of growing up at Powderham, and what he has learned of his remarkable home. For old and new visitors alike, this is the perfect time to come and explore the Home of Devon.
Professor Daniel Maudlin, of Cornerstone Praxis and Plymouth University, commented: "Ongoing investigations into the Powderham archives and the fabric of the castle by staff and students from Plymouth and UPenn, as well as volunteers from the Devon History Society, reveal new insights into how the castle was built and occupied through the centuries. It is great to see this emerging research feed directly into new tours to enrich the experience of Powderham for all."
AJ Courtenay, Countess of Devon, enthused: "This is a really exciting season at Powderham, and we are thrilled to be taking a fresh look at our ancient stories and treasures. By welcoming dogs throughout the house and introducing new, family-friendly stories and tours, we are revealing Powderham as a home for all. We are excited to be receiving rave reviews from kids and adults alike!"