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EXETER CASTLE

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Sited on a natural rock knoll known as Rougemont, the castle was built in 1086 following William the Conqueror's subjection of the city. Initially defended by the city wall and ditch to the north and a stockaded ring-work like bank and ditch to the south, walls were substituted for the stockade by the early 12th century. An outer bailey with a barbican entry was added before 1200, and although the defences were destroyed some time after 1587 their circuit can still be traced. The castle was beseiged by King Stephen in 1136, was a Royal residence in the reign of King John but had ceased to have any military importance by 1300. It was in bad condition by 1325, the only repairs recorded afterwards being to buildings rather than defences, and was ruinous in 1774. Claims that Rougemont was an Iron Age fort before the Norman castle are without foundation. Now used as the Devon Assize Hall and Session House. Scheduled.

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