Berry Pomeroy Castle is a Tudor Castle, thought to have been built during the late 1400s. It was originally owned by the Pomeroy family as far back as the 1100s. In 1547 the Pomeroy family ran into financial difficulties and were forced to sell the castle to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. The Seymour family still owns it to this day. The castle appears to have no special political or cultural significance other than being a good example of Tudor era architecture.
The first thing one notices about the ruin is the gate. Two massive, imposing towers lay on either side of it and you can be pretty certain that these were the donjons of structure.
It’s easy to visualize some hapless unfortunate, chained and shackled to the wall, forgotten and slowly expiring and all for stealing a loaf of bread or because he failed to bow before the Lord. It is a very forbidding and cruel-looking place. The rest of the buildings are shells and not exactly what you call light and airy either.
Sometime in the 1600s the Seymour family stopped using the place and it fell into disuse and was eventually abandoned. They probably found it too depressing! According to an account written in 1701 it was pretty much a ruin by then. During the 18th and 19th century it became a tourist attraction and a favorite hangout for writers and artists who found inspiration in the picaresque and somewhat grotesque appearance of Berry Pomeroy castle and its surroundings. I am sure that many an aspiring 19th century poet, hoping to be the next Lord Byron, used the castle as a catalyst to help fire his imagination into an appropriately morbid frame of mind.
One of the more notorious ghosts of the place is the “Blue Lady”. Legend has it that she was the daughter of one of the Lords of the castle and had a baby born of an incestuous liaison with her father. She killed the infant and now haunts the castle where she moans and keens, asking for help and luring people up to the top of one of the towers where they then fall to their deaths. One would suspect that this was how her infant daughter probably met her demise. Sounds like good material for an Opera doesn’t it?
The other ghost is called the “White Lady” and has been identified as Margaret Pomeroy. She was supposed to have been very beautiful and apparently her and her sister were in love with the same man. Her sister was extremely jealous of Margaret’s beauty and had her locked up inside the castle and starved to death. She will show up whenever someone who has a connection to the castle dies. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen a Vincent Price movie about this one. Yvonne DeCarlo could have played the evil sister.
The usual orbs, strange lights, voices and cold spots have been reported in Berry Pomeroy Castle as well. Other ghosts, a woman in grey and a Cavalier, have also been seen wandering about.
Berry Pomeroy Castle – Check it out below, virtually.