Lockdown 3.0… But with Castles – 23/01/2021

It’s been pretty quiet here recently. Life events have taken over since my last post. Emily and I have moved into our first house together, and have been decorating that with the overzealous enthusiasm that only first time homeowners have. This has eaten away our weekends to a large degree and work of course hasn’t stopped in between! Throw in the seasonal bad (terrible) weather, and another national lockdown, and I’m left with not much to write about.

It’s not always bad weather though!

That changes today. We have been getting to know our new locale and there are plenty of adventures to share from home. We’ve been out exploring woodland, finding new trails in Saltram (in fact we even got engaged in Saltram since I last wrote), visiting various ancient places in our town and even watching the sun disappear from the ruined parapets of an ancient castle.

Happiest I could be

And it’s Plympton Castle I’m going to focus on now. Built in the 12th century it’s a typical ruin of a Motte-and-Bailey castle and has the checkered past you would associate of anything 900ish years old! Burnt down after a rebellion against the King in 1136 it was rebuilt only to be (unsuccessfully) used against King Henry III’s forces in 1244. Quite the history of rebellion!

The un-assuming castle of today

This was all to change in the English Civil War. Fast forward to the 1640s and the site became a strategic base for royalist forces in the South West to besiege Plymouth which was a supporter of parliament. A last hurrah for the castle, as over the subsequent 400 years the site has ran into ruin.

Ruins today

Today it is little more than a decent vantage point to look over the town and into the surrounding city with Dartmoor beyond. A public park, it is a nice local walk for Emily and I during this lockdown. But most of all it is a stark reminder of the difference between our new home Plympton and our old home Plymouth; ancient stannary town and a city largely remodelled in the 1950s post-blitz. Both with amazing, but different, history. Something well worth exploring while we can’t get further afield!

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Great views from the top though!