Visual marvel Dartmouth Castle is 600 years old and was built to guard the entrance to the estuary and the River Dart, and indeed Dartmouth itself. Move over to the opposite bank and you can see the ruins of it's sister defence castle, Kingswear Castle. Dartmouth was a strategic port as far back as the Middle Ages when it had a large export trade. It was naturally then vulnerable to attack! Before Dartmouth Castle was built, Dartmouth was actually attached by French raiders in 1404. Defence buildings were rapidly errected, and work began on Dartmouth Castle in 1481, until it's completion 14 years later. This Devon castle was the first of it's kind, uniquely designed for artillery purposes.
Dartmouth Castle is amazingly preserved, with it's spectacular rectangular tower still intance, and with it's basement just above the waterline. In the basement there are 7 gunports, whilst the basement of the round tower was for musketeers who fired from the many slits in the wall - gunports were added here too though later. Dartmouth Castle changed hands twice during the English Civil War, but fortunately was not damaged. It remained a strategic defence castle right up until 1940.